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Changing tenant demographics

Saturday, March 15, 2014 Posted in: Property Market Tenants

Throughout England, Scotland and Wales we are starting to see a change in the demographics of private renters, according to Countrywide Residential Lettings.

Since January 2013, the amount of over 30s privately renting has increased by over 5%, now making up over 59% of all tenants. We have also seen a growth of 2.2% of 41-50 year olds who are privately renting. This age group now forms over 16% of all tenants.

The number of families living in the private rented accommodation has increased in most regions with London seeing the greatest growth of tenants with children (up 6%) followed by the South West (up 5%) and the North West (up 3%).

23% of families in Oxford are now privately renting their home.

Whilst families appreciate security and are now renting for longer, the opposite can be said for young professionals under 30. There has been a fall in young professional renters of over 5%. This may be linked to the recent launch of the Help to Buy scheme which is helping many to get onto the housing ladder.

Oxford is still the most expensive city to live in outside of London. Therefore, the amount of people who are renting (28%) is a lot higher than the national average (17%). The percentage of households who own their home is still relatively low in Oxford at 47% compared to 63% throughout the rest of England. 

This change in tenant demographics is a great opportunity for landlords to revisit their properties and consider the different target markets they attract.

Unsurprisingly, priorities when choosing a home can differ greatly for different markets, any particular property is likely to have the potential to cater to various needs. However landlords over the years have tended to concentrate efforts on one demographic; student sharer or families.

Many landlords in Oxford have had to make substantial investment and alterations to their properties over the last few years with the introduction of additional licencing for all HMOs. The ‘improvements’ suggested by OCC affirm further still that certain houses are fit for certain tenant types, losing their ability to switch between markets as demand changes. The introduction of the Article 4 directive in February 2012 has resulted in a market where many HMO landlords would be forced to leave a property empty rather than risk looking the established use and accepting a non HMO tenant.

In Oxford there is still an imbalance between supply and demand so landlords continue to be in a strong position. Oxford has seen substantial development of purpose built student accommodation over the past two years which may start reduce the supply shortfall propping up the shared/ student housing market. East Oxford has in the past 12 months seen terrific capital uplift and is increasingly attracting not just students but young professionals and families. As we have seen in Jericho, when house prices reach a certain level the property becomes less viable as investment so areas once dominated by student digs have reverted back to Hi-Tec homes for high income families.

At College and County, we are keen to match great tenants to your property. We offer a free property valuation and market appraisal service where we will be able to advise you on what market your property would be most likely to attract. We can also take note of any tenant requirements you have, ensuring that we only need to offer viewings to the best possible tenants for you and your property.

If you would like any more information on our free property valuation and market appraisal service, please contact David Gilson our Lettings Director today: 01865 722722

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