He wanted to know my thoughts particularly on the future of the Aylesbury property market. He was of the opinion that the Buy To Let market was becoming saturated and that tenants were going to be spoilt for choice. But people are always going to need a roof over their heads and somewhere to live will never go out of fashion – it’s a necessity for every single person. The 22 to 30 year olds of the town have a choice of what type of roof they have ... they can rent from the Council, they can rent from a private landlord, they can live with mum and dad or finally they can get a mortgage and buy a property. In the 1970’s/80’s and 90’s, the expected thing was to save like mad for two years for the deposit (going without luxuries) whilst living at home or renting an inexpensive two up two down, then buy your first house. However, more recently fewer Aylesbury youngsters have been buying, choosing to rent instead – mainly from private landlords (as Councils have been selling off council housing on the Right to Buy Schemes). The numbers are truly staggering ... and I want to share them with you.
Roll the clock back 20 years and Aylesbury was a very different place. There were 23,261 households in Aylesbury and 15,581 of those were owner occupied. Move to the present, and with all the building in the town, the total number of households has increased by 24.1% to 28,877 and quite surprising, the number of owner-occupiers has increased to 19,022 (although as a proportion, it is only 65.8% compared to 66.9% twenty years ago).
However, it is the rented sector that is truly fascinating … twenty years ago, only 1,064 properties were privately rented in Aylesbury ... and now its 4,701, a rise of 3,637.
The twentysomethings of Aylesbury have not been helped by the local authority selling off council housing, with the number of council houses dropping from 5,030 to 1,254 over the same twenty-year period. Demand for good quality rented property remains high, as Cameron’s much vaunted house building program is years away and has decades of under investment to catch up on before it starts to affect demand. Even with the Buy to Let tax rule changes over the coming few years (which will see the maximum tax relief available to higher rate tax paying landlords drop from 45% to 20%), private landlords still have an important role to play in housing the people of Aylesbury and those who treat it as a business will survive and prosper.
The best way Aylesbury landlords can protect their income from property, (and mitigate the affects of the tax rises) is to keep the homes they let out in good condition. I have found, especially over the last three or four years, that Aylesbury tenants have ever growing demands from their rental property, but many are prepared to pay ‘top dollar‘ for houses and apartments that meet those high expectations. You must not forget, letting property in Aylesbury (in fact anywhere) is a business, so all landlords should seek the advice, opinion and commentary of property professionals. I have spoken to several landlords recently persuaded to purchase property on the basis of inflated rental figures or outlandish expectations of capital growth. Do your research carefully, understand the location you are buying in and make sure that what you buy suits your portfolio requirements.
When researching you could do worse than look for more in-depth articles on the Aylesbury Property Market blog, which has a library of similar articles to this. Alternatively you could give me a call 01296 398555, drop in to my Temple Street office or email me email@example.com
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