As the lead up to the European referendum is reaching fever pitch there are waves of uncertainty across the board in the property industry, many are concerned that the uncertainty is leading to a downturn in some sectors but there’s been positive news emerging for landlords as demand and satisfaction remain high for tenants.
The surveys, undertaken by BDRC Continental on behalf of Paragon Mortgages, revealed that despite attempts by the government to dampen the buy-to-let market in 2015 and stimulate home buying, Q1 2016 saw demand for properties to rent continue to rise. The number of landlords reporting tenant demand as either increasing slightly or significantly stood at 39%, up from 34% in Q4 2015. A further 36% of landlords described tenant demand as being ‘stable’.
This has been seen as highly positive news among an almost constant stream of doom and gloom ahead of the vote. Landlord confidence remains high despite the new financial measure introduced earlier in the year. Increases in stamp duty meant a ‘gold-rush’ as many sought to beat the price increases by purchasing planned acquisitions quicker than originally anticipated. It was this effect that concerned many who worried that it may mean a flat lining of new purchases, a choking of supply and low confidence in the market.
However with the social housing sector having lost around one million homes since 1991, more than three quarters of landlords polled (78%) agreed the private rental sector compensates to some extent for the decline of the social housing sector.
An overwhelming majority (89%) of landlords also stated the private rented sector has an important role to play in accommodating those who are priced out of home ownership, while nearly three quarters (74%) agreed the PRS plays a role in accommodating those excluded from social housing by dwindling supply.
With the market staying buoyant and demand maintaining a healthy level there were some left wondering whether tenants themselves had been feeling the heat from all of these factors or whether satisfaction had remained high. As a whole the UK tenant market are generally satisfied with the service that they receive from both landlords and lettings agents.
The sector is also witnessing high levels of tenant satisfaction. Nearly eight in ten (79%) tenants surveyed said they are satisfied with their current landlord. Further, 85% of tenants consider their current rental property to be their ‘home’ and 69% believe the level of rent they pay to be ‘good’ or ‘very good’ value for money.
Reflecting the changing balance in housing tenure, the average length of time tenants are spending in their current properties now stands at nearly seven years. The average length of time spent in the private rental sector in total was reported to be nearly 13 years.
This is all positive news for landlords and tenants alike and is reassuring especially for those using reputable lettings agents. As tenant satisfaction sits at such high levels it certainly shows the benefits for landlords using agencies that are able to provide a good and efficient service to their tenants as the average length of tenancy increases with a great service.