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Paul Bennett, Director

The dust has settled, priorities have been re-evaluated and city living finds itself back in fashion. After almost two years of turbulent times, the desire to live in the heart of urban locations – including London – is strong.


We are beginning to discover what motivates home movers now – especially tenants with their sights set on cities. Like us, others operating in the property sphere are seeing and analysing deeper emerging trends, with their reports complementing the Behr & Butchoff lettings team’s anecdotal evidence.


Residential company Uncle, who specialises in creating build-to-rent properties, took a detailed look at renters’ attitudes to city living. Over 2,000 people took part in its survey, which was carried out on its behalf by Censuswide.


The survey found that when asked which city is the best place to live, London topped the poll with 20% of the votes. York, Edinburgh, Oxford and Manchester completed the top five.


When it came to the amenities that tenants now want at their disposal, the top three most desirable community assets comprised supermarkets (51%), green spaces (40%) and good schools (31%). Other amenities that ranked well included independent shops (22%), restaurants (20%) and traditional pubs (19%).


 “The survey results show that London has maintained its crown as a highly desirable place for tenants to live,” comments Behr & Butchoff’s Lettings Manager, Richard Greene. “It is no surprise that supermarkets and green spaces rank as highly desirable amenities, given that we have come to rely on them so much over the last two years.”


Richard goes on to highlight how tenants can find all of their most-wanted aspects in London, despite its capital city status. “Take, for instance, the Regent’s Park. You have 410 acres of green open space just a short stroll from St. John’s Wood. Within the park is ZSL London Zoo, a boating lake, a fitness hub and vast sports pitches, coffee kiosks, a restaurant and even an open air theatre.”


“Then you have St. John’s Wood High Street, which brims with the independent stores and restaurants that renters crave as in The Ivy Brasserie. When it comes to food shopping, we have everything from a Tesco Express and Londis right through the wonderful Panzer’s Deli and the health food shop Nature’s Healing Garden. We even have a cluster of traditional pubs including The Duke of York, The Ordnance Arms and The Clifton.”


In terms of schooling, the St. John’s Wood environs excel. The American School, L ’Ecole International Franco, French Lycée and Hill House School are all at a tenant’s disposal, as well as some exceptionally well rated independent and state schools.


Property investors looking to snap up a buy-to-let in London should make St. John’s Wood a top consideration. With Rightmove figures showing a startling jump in the capital’s rental values – up 10.9%, with an additional rise of 5% predicted for 2022 – now is a fantastic time to capitalise on what NW8 has to offer tenants.


If you would like help planning your next investment purchase – or you are looking to rent a property in the St. John’s Wood area - contact Behr & Butchoff today.