The Conservatives have pledged to build over 1 million homes by 2020. We have not built enough homes for decades, and if the gap between the number of households forming and the number of new homes being built continues to grow, we are in danger of not being able to house our children or grand children. It is past the time for another grand statement of ambition by another Housing Minister. Surely it is right to give normal Aylesbury families back the hope of a secure home, be that rented or owned? As a town, we need to exert pressure to ensure Westminster is held accountable, so we can have confidence there is a comprehensive plan, with enough investment, that can actually get these homes built.
To give you an idea of the sorts of numbers we are talking about, in the Aylesbury Vale District Council area in 2008, 670 properties were built and four years later in 2012, it peaked at 1100. By 2014, that figure had dropped by 10% to 990 properties built.
The outcome of too few homes being built in Aylesbury means the working people of the town are being priced out of buying their first home and renters are not getting the quality they deserve for their money. The local authority is not building estates like they were after the war and housing associations are having their budgets tightened year on year, meaning they have less money to spend on building new properties. I know of many Aylesbury youngsters, who are living with their parents for longer because they cannot afford to get onto the housing ladder and growing families are unable to buy the bigger homes they need.
I talk to many Aylesbury business people and they tell me they need a flexible and mobile workforce, but the high cost of moving home and lack of decent affordable housing are barriers to attracting and retaining employees. Furthermore, building new homes is a powerful source of growth, creating jobs across the county and supporting hundreds of Aylesbury businesses. It is true that landlords have taken up the mantle and over the last 15 years have bought a large number of properties. The Government need to be thankful to all those Aylesbury landlords, who own the 4,701 rental properties in the town. Most local landlords only have a handful of rented properties (to aid their retirement), and without them, I honestly don’t know who would house all the extra people in Aylesbury!
Moving forward, those Aylesbury landlords have many pitfalls, both in the short term and medium term. For instance the way income from rented property is taxed is likely to change soon, landlords now need to carry out Legionella Testing and the requirements for information that a landlord needs to supply a tenant have changed. All these changes cost time and money.
The days of buying any property in Aylesbury and letting it out meaning you are set for life are gone. There are more than ever a host of things to consider. It’s all about ensuring you stay the right side of the law, buy the right property (and that might mean even selling some to buy others), so you build the right portfolio for you as a landlord. Have a working knowledge of the tax implications in all you are doing is essential. If you are not using an agent to manage your property make sure you are able to stay up to date with legislation changes…if you are using an agent make sure they do!! One source of information on all of these issues, where you will find other articles on the Aylesbury property market, is the Aylesbury Property Blog http://theaylesburypropertyblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Or just pop in to my Temple Street office when you are next in town.
|Nala helping me negotiate the Wendover Woods fitness trail.|