Chessington has seen the biggest annual rise in home rental searches in London, with searches almost doubling compared to the same period in 2019, according to Rightmove.

Agents are reporting in some cases more than 100 prospective tenants enquiring about a single property. Tenants in Chessington are paying average monthly rents of £1,258, which is a 4.3% year-on-year increase, but still £742 cheaper than average rents across London as a whole.

Conversely, Clapham Junction and Earls Court – two of the busiest stations in London – have both dropped in the number of searches this year, reinforcing the suggestion that renters are looking for places with quieter transport links as Chessington South is Zone 6 and at the end of the branch line. This coincides with office-based working and rail commutes becoming less frequent this year.

Vinesh Mistry, sales and lettings manager at Parry & Drewett in Chessington, said: “We’ve seen lots of interest from bigger neighbouring towns like Surbiton and Sutton and there’s great value for money here. We’re a smaller community, there are only about 3,500 chimney pots in Chessington, so when something comes up there is a good fight for it. People want more space and bigger gardens now more than ever so houses are hugely in demand right now.

“We recently advertised a lovely two-bed Victorian cottage and had 125 viewing requests. We whittled that down to a shortlist of about half a dozen viewings and they all offered the asking rent, so you can see that the demand is there.

“I think a lot of the demand is due to more people being able to work from home, and we’ve got plenty of good shops and restaurants here to keep people busy without the place feeling packed.”

Rightmove’s property expert, Miles Shipside, added: “Since the market reopened in May we’ve seen a growing trend of buyers looking to move out of urban areas and it appears renters are now following suit. As working from home becomes the new normal for many people, and lesser significance is placed on living near a station to commute into central hubs, the appeal of living in quieter areas with more green spaces is becoming too attractive to ignore for tens of thousands of renters. No-one knows what the future holds, but at the moment, it’s clear to see that places with a slower pace of life are top of renters’ home-hunting wish-lists.”