Following Kate Faulkner seminar yesterday made me think of how dynamic and ever-changing London property market can be. Landlords and Investors alike need to be aware of these changes and be able to think quickly on their feet to ensure their properties will keep performing in a competitive market today and in the future.
While a lot of the market trends are dictated by the economy, increasing or decreasing of national wages and demographics, other factors also contribute to determine who the future prospective tenants will be and how to gear up for the new trends.
1) Aging population on the rise. With widespread fall in fertility rates and significant rises in life expectancy, the grey age of Britain’s population is rising. Today, for the first time in history, Britain’s over-65s now outnumber people under the age of 16. And with the current under-supply of properties to let people over 65’s will find it more difficult to secure a comfortable home which is fit for their needs.
The ideal property to let: A ground floor flat with no steps throughout the property. Ideally one street away from the high street with all the facilities nearby and very close to a bus station. (elderly people very rarely catch the tube or drive!) – The old fashion generation still prefers carpet over other kind of flooring, therefore if you are refurbishing your property to suit this prospective tenant make sure you use a plain, light colour carpet with no pattern. Elderly people often struggle with sight and an intricate pattern will make things worse.
2) The disappearance of first time buyers. With our economy still recovering from the credit crunch lenders dramatically increased their interest rates and made the whole mortgage application more difficult than ever, resulting in less and less people affording to buy in the UK. On top on that the media reporting the worse (and often non accurate) does contribute to discourage potential buyers. Families and couple alike are more likely to rent for peace of mind rather than venturing in the uncertainties of their financial future.
The ideal property to let: The so-called “vanilla property”, in a safe neighbourhood, with plenty of storage and possibly an outdoor space.