Private Rented Sector: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Rajiv Mehta, Asset Manager – Business Development, Young Group

Rajiv Mehta, Asset Manager – Business Development, Young Group

As 2014 is drawing to a close this PRSupdate article will focus on what has been happening over the past 12 months in housing and the Private Rented Sector, as well as a brief look ahead to 2015.

House Building

While the lack of housing stock is a current hot topic it has been encouraging to see statistics, released by the Government, which shows that house building has steadily been on the rise since the financial collapse of 2008.

The number of private dwelling construction starts for 2014 is set to exceed the 2013 levels by at nearly 25,000 units (106,750 in 2014 compared to 81,980 in 2013).

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Number of Amateur Landlords on the Increase

Rajiv Mehta, Asset Manager – Investment, Young Group

Rajiv Mehta, Asset Manager – Investment, Young Group

According to a new report the level of amateur (part time) landlords, those who use their investment property to supplement their other income, have reached the highest ever levels.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) claims that amateur landlords now make up more than 70% of the Private Rented Sector and that they typically own around four properties.

Due to the current strength of returns seen in the rental market 25% of these amateur landlords are intending to add to their property portfolio with 40% planning to use buy-to-let financing to fund their lettings portfolio.

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House building data (December quarter 2013)

House Building

House Building

The latest data on House Building in England, for December quarter 2013, have been released by the Office for National Statistics. The statistics in the release are figures on new build housing starts and completions throughout England.

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How location can affect rental values

How Location can affect rental values

How location can affect rental values

Residential property in London is currently outperforming other mainstream asset classes in regards of total returns.

The current rental market offers the prospect of a steady rental uplift and this is attracting a broader range of investors who now see residential property as a steady source of long-term income.

However, the rental income and rental uplift of a property will vary due to a number of factors. One of the major factors that can affect rental income is the location of the asset. An identical property would achieve different rent levels dependant on its location.

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Research shows that arrears and voids are falling

NLA

NLA

The National Landlords Association (NLA) quarterly research data shows that arrears have fallen to their lowest level for two years with only 39% of landlords having been affected by arrears in the last 12 months. This figure is down 9% on the 2010 levels.

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The Office for National Statistics produces its first PRS price indices

Office for National Statistics

The Office for National Statistics has produced its first Private Rented Sector price indices. Unlike their house sales index, which includes actual prices, this indices contains a series of percentages.

The ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP), to use its official title, is described as “experimental” and that conclusions shoudl not be drawn from the data as the index will be developed.
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London rents strong vs the rest of Great Britain

Residential Rents Per Month

Residential Rents Per Month

Research is showing that the Private Rented Sector in London is far stronger than that of the rest of the country.

In London, rental growth averaged 6.8 per cent compared to 2.3 per cent in the south east and 1.5 per cent for the rest of Great Britain. In the first quarter of 2013 the average monthly rent for a two bedroom property in London was £1,850. In the south east it was less than half of that at £846 while the average for the rest of Great Britain was a third of the London level at £576.

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First Quarter 2013 House Building statistics: England

Department for Communities and Local Government

Department for Communities and Local Government

Posted by The Department for Communities and Local Government  is the First Quarter House Building statistics.

Statistics in the release present figures on new build housing starts and completions in England. The latest statistics report on the period January to March 2013 and update those previously released on 21 February 2013.
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Landlord’s Guide to Lettings

Letting a property is not simply a case of agreeing a price and receiving bank details. If a property is to be let it needs to be done so legally – and there are many practical and financial aspects to take into consideration before an agreement can be reached.

Without employing the services of a professional lettings agent you run the risk of getting caught in a loophole you may have been unaware of. Similarly, you don’t want to hand your property over to a company who doesn’t practice at industry standards. Good agents will belong to professional industry bodies – check out our list to find out what they mean. Read more of this post

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City Guide: Holborn

Inside the British Museum / image: geograph

Holborn is situated between the London Borough of Camden and the City of London. Holborn has great transport links, with the nearest stations being Chancery Lane, Covent Garden, Russell Square and Tottenham Court Road.

Holborn is best known for being the centre of some of London’s most prestigious law firms. The Royal Court of Justice is also based there, containing an estimated 1,000 rooms and 2.5 miles of corridors! Education is no stranger to the area either with the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Arts within a close proximity to each other. Read more of this post

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City Life: Elephant and Castle

In my opinion, there are many preconceived ideas about the Elephant & Castle area and 5 years ago it wasn’t the safest of places to live in London. However the new regeneration plans to build a brand new shopping centre has alone brought about a new sense of life around the area. With developments such as Strata which completed in April 2010, a new focal point for London’s skyline has been introduced.

At 147.9 metres, Strata is now SE1’s tallest building – a title previously held by Guy’s Tower (143 metres). Strata is likely to keep the title until The Shard at London Bridge is completed. 43 floors high and 408 brand new homes later, the Shard will be seen as an iconic figure in London, with people from all over the world flooding to it like any other public attraction. The development alone has massively contributed to many more working professionals living in the area, which has also had a knock on effect on the world where wind turbines have been integrated within the fabric of the building.

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The Life of a Property Consultant

Rajiv Mehta, Property Consultant

As a property consultant, you are usually generalised as being money hungry because most consultants are paid on a commission basis, which is dependant on the amount of deals made in a certain timescale. It is also common for consultants in the working environment to be known as sharks – because of their pay structure colleagues are known to lie to applicants or turn them against each other, in order to get the deal.

Most annoyingly, the reputation of a property consultant is destroyed because of this, which doesn’t bode well for tenants whom are seeking new homes to move into. Some applicants may also feel cheated into paying more money than a property is worth, which therefore has an impact on the customer service offered to clients.

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Advice for Overseas Tenants

London

image: TJ Morris

April to September is definitely the busiest time for the lettings industry! One thing I have noticed in recent weeks is an  increase in the amount of enquiries we have received from overseas applicants, who are looking to rent in London.

Some people renting from overseas come to London with an employer, and will have the benefit of help and support from their company. However not all will have that luxury, and will have to prove they can afford the rent and find a suitable and safe estate agency for themselves.

Many of these applicants are students looking to live in London whilst studying at university, starting their search for a home close to the start of term time. According to UCAS, in 2010 alone 62,695 overseas students were accepted into British universities. That is a lot of people in need of advice! I hope that this article, a guide to renting in London and the UK, helps those unfamiliar with the process to learn what is required of them in order to find and rent their perfect home.

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Hackney and the E2 Lettings Market

Hackney Empire

Hackney Empire Music Hall, Built 1901 (image: Jim Linwood)

Over the past couple of months, I have been struck by the increased interest in the lettings market in the E2 / Hackney area of London.

We currently have properties in the area, in particular in a development called Acton’s Lock (formerly known as Union Wharf) – a development situated on Pritchard’s Road, in the heart of Hackney town. It was completed almost 5 years

ago, and it’s staggering to see the change in the lettings market over the years. Upon completion in 2007 the rent for a 1 bedroom property was a lot lower than expected, however every year since we have seen a steady increase in the infrastructure around the area, which has had a positive knock on effect to the rental value.

Over the last 2 months, we have had a fair amount of properties in the development become available for renewal, with 90% of tenants wanting to renew their tenancy. With this, we have seen a rapid rise in the rent achieved for these 1 bedroom properties, from achieving a rent of around £270 per week last year to now achieving around the £300 per week – an 11% increase.   All of the properties that we have available in this development have stunning Juliet balconies, overlooking the Regents Canal.

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King’s Cross Lettings Market Update

Over the last couple of months, rental prices have rapidly increased in the King’s Cross region. Further to my first blog on the N1 lettings market, I will be concentrating more on a development called King’s Quarter in King’s Cross, where we currently let and manage the majority of the properties.

During the past month, renewals and new tenancies at the Kings Quarter development have seen an average annual rental increase of up to close to 20%, with a typical 2 bedroom apartment now renting for £390 per week (up from £330 per week a year ago). 

Such rental increases aren’t uncommon for well-located, appropriately maintained, modern property in the Kings Cross area, proving that the King’s Cross area i s fa

st becoming one of London’s fastest rising residential rental heavyweights.

Average length of tenancy is strong in the Kings Cross area; tenants are eager to renew – driven by a local shortage of rental stock, regeneration and gentrification – even when faced with rental increases that are among the highest in the capital.

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