Honourable and personal residential letting experts

15Oct

Are Rents Going Down?

Are rents going down in the Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire area? That’s an easy one – a definite no! It can be split into two categories:

What is the rental market doing?

The rental market is very, very buoyant. In September we saw average rent prices increase by 3.5% in tenanted properties in the Huntingdon and St Ives area. However, the Cambridgeshire market has seen a slower growth of 1% (a far better figure than last year when we were seeing prices drop) .

For properties that are being marketed (i.e. tenants are changing or a property is new to the market) we have been achieving an average of £55.00 per month extra. Rent prices are definitely not going down!

However, this is very dependent on the condition of the property. Our highest change recently was an increase of £154 per month. This was in comparison to the outgoing tenant for a landlord in one of the outlying villages.

How has the pandemic affected rental market?

The main reason for the property market to be this way is very simple – there are about 33% fewer properties on the rental market than just before the pandemic. Tenant demand has remained about the same level but obviously with fewer properties to choose from, prices increase. We are also seeing void periods reducing as fewer properties remain on the market for long. This is provided we can gain access to view the property. The average time it is taking to rent a property (from marketing to finding a tenant) is now 10 days. This is obviously really frustrating for anyone looking to find a new home. Because of this we take great pains to help anyone that’s looking for a new home.

How do we help?

We have changed the way we help a tenant find a property. Almost all properties are now initially seen on an online viewing.  To give you an idea on the strength of the rental market, it’s not uncommon to have an average audience of 20 people watching a live viewing. This figure is after we pre-select people based on affordability etc. This will give us an initial short list which we will discuss with our landlord. Once a choice has been made the winning party will physically visit the property to make sure it’s really for them. This has given us an 87% first time strike rate and reduced the time that people need to spend visiting properties. This is clearly one benefit of the pandemic!

So what has changed?

One noticeable change in the market is the rise of what we term a ‘professional tenant’. These guys are a landlord’s worst nightmare. We have had a number of cases where the stories from the potential tenant really pull at your heart strings. However things do not quite add up when it comes to the detailed referencing and our other tenant checks. People forget that their social media account can tell a great deal more about them person than just any financial reference.   Fortunately the refencing we carry out is quite detailed so we have been able to cull out people before they get the keys. If you do nothing else, if you have decided to carry out referencing yourself, beware there are more chancers out there.

 

 

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