Thursday, 9 July 2015

Will Chichester’s tenants ever be able to buy?

A recent report by Knight Frank has highlighted the increasing influence the private rented sector will continue to have across the UK housing market.

Of the 3,500 private tenants they surveyed nationwide, 24% said they do not expect to ever buy their own home. 15% said they would need to rent for at least another five years before they might be in a position to buy their own property. Less than a quarter expect to leave the rental market within the next two years.

The general view of the media is that ever-increasing house prices and tightening mortgage availability is leading to difficulties for people buying their own homes rather than renting.

Nowhere is this truer than in Chichester, where property is said to be amongst the least affordable in the country. Adzuna suggests the average property in Chichester (valued at £391,778) is some 15 times the local average salary of £25,801, against a UK average of around five times. Their research concluded that only 11% of the properties available for sale in Chichester are affordable to the average local buyer.

An interesting revelation that came from Knight Frank’s survey was a growing trend for people actively choosing to rent rather than buy. One third of the 2,500 tenants polled said that renting either suited their lifestyle or that they didn’t want the commitment of homeownership.

In central Chichester (as of 2011), 2,540 out of a total 13,103 households privately rented their home. At 19.4%, this is higher than the national average of 16.8%.

In the wider Chichester district this figure drops to 12.8%, as 6,356 of the 49,848 households are privately rented. This is an increase of 51% from the 4,209 privately rented households in 2001.

It is clear that many people no longer view the private rented sector as merely a short-term solution to their housing requirements. An increasingly mobile workforce is actively seeking the convenience of renting their home rather than committing to buy.

The availability of good-quality rental property will therefore become increasingly important for the future of the housing market. This continued demand from tenants is of course good news for landlords, many of whom are taking advantage of the current low interest-rate environment to expand their portfolios accordingly.

One important factor for a successful buy-to-let will be to ensure you purchase a property that will continue to appeal to the changing demographics and expectations of the developing rental market.

If you are thinking of getting into the property rental market but don’t know where to start, feel free to contact me for some impartial advice and guidance to get the best return on your investment.

chichester observer property headline

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 9th July 2015)
Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings.


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