Honourable and personal residential letting experts

8May

Rental spotlight – Cambridgeshire regional update, April 2024

Highlights:

  • There are more properties coming on to the market. 
  • 137% more people looking for property than in April 2023
  • Rental prices are showing a slight slowdown.
  • Our area remains vibrant.

Rental market overview

During April 2024 there were 351 properties advertised to let across the areas that we work in. This was a slight increase of 14% from that advertised in March 2024 and a 25% increase from what came on to the market on April 2023. 

This falls in line with our findings that 75% of those landlords spoken to are looking to maintain or increase their portfolio.  Interestingly 27% of the properties that we started to advertise  have come from new landlords coming to the market.  

 

 

There were 137 properties let in the month which is a 33% increase on what happened in April 2023.  This is also an improvement on what we reported in March 2024 when the figures seemed to point to a slow down in activity.

Affordability still is coming out as the main factor in people not being able to take on a new property even though there are more people in the market.

In April we marketed an average of 11 properties a week and received 1,196 enquires – which means as per recent months, we were dealing with 137% more enquires than we were in April 2023. However, through our prequalification system we spoke to 340 applicants around about 26%.

For those properties checking-in in April, it took an average of 13 days to find a new resident on an average rental of £1,000 and below; 14 days on an average rental of £1,001 – £1,500 and 27 days on an average rental of £ 1,501- £2,500. Which means the average amount of time it takes us to find a new resident (from start of marketing to agreeing to take on a property) now stands at 15 days.

 

Rental comparisons for PE27, PE28, PE29, CB23 and CB24

You know we love a database and by having this type of detail we are best placed to give you the right guidance when looking at rental reviews and when you are considering extending your portfolio.

These average figures come from our records. Therefore, they are a mixture of the rent reviews that have been put in place over the last year. Plus, the rental figure achieved at the point of remarketing, and are split by the number of bedrooms.

Which areas have the highest year on year increase by number of bedrooms?

As last month PE27 and PE28 have performed the best for year-on-year increases for one bed homes with CB23 performing the best for two and three bed homes. For a four bed home the best increase was achieved in PE27. 

As reported last month the average increase is slowing.

The main driver of these increases is down to mortgage rate rises. We are now seeing landlords with long term residents who historically have kept rents lower than market rate now asking for an increase to market rate or in some cases higher than market rate as their mortgage has increased.

Has prospective tenants’ behaviour changed?

Yes 

From the figures above you can see that we are talking to more first-time enquires than ever before. Therefore, before we call any prospective applicant, we would need them to complete a pre-registration form which askes a number of basic questions including salary level and when do they want to move.

Interestingly, we have had far fewer no-shows to appointments which may be one indicator of how difficult it is to find a new home.

However, we are still finding that affordability is very much coming into play. Due to lack of supply prospective tenants are having to spend more than 30% of the household income on rent.

Sadly, fraud/bending the truth continues to be an issue we have to deal with. We are now finding that prospective tenants are doctoring bank statements and inventing job histories to improve their chances of being accepted as a new tenant. That is why we continue to be very vigilant asking the same questions throughout the initial conversation, viewing and referencing process. Once we find a contradiction in the information given that’s our trigger to go into more details!

What return can I expect?

As I have said many times before this is very much down to when you bought the property.

The average gross rental yield that you should expect is anything between 5 – 6%.

If you want to hear more details on what is happening in the market, register to join our FREE webinar on Thursday 16th May.