Wednesday, 24 February 2016

2,156 Grantham Homes bought by private landlords in the last 20 years –Is this the end for first time buyers?

There I was, out with the family at Belton House last weekend, when a smart gentleman approached me. ͚Hello͛, he 
said, ͚You are the person writes that Property Blog aren͛t you? We have met before at that Business Networking 
event in Grantham a few months ago͛. I did then recognise him and, whilst I wont mention his name, he runs a small 
but perfectly formed well known independent retailers in the town ... It͛s amazing who you see when out walking! 
Anyway, I was at a loose end for five or ten minutes as the other half was sorting things with the family, so we had a 

He wanted to know my thoughts on the future of the Grantham property market, and I would now like to share with 
you that conversation, my Grantham property Blog reading friends. People are always going to need a roof over 
their heads and somewhere to live will never go out of fashion – it͛s a necessity for every single person. The 22 to 30 
year olds of the town have a choice to what type of roof they have ... they rent from the Council, they can rent from 
a private landlord or finally they can get a mortgage and buy one. In the 1970͛s/80͛s and 90͛s, the expected thing 
was to save like mad for two years for the deposit (going without luxuries) whilst living at home or renting a cheap 
two up two down, then buy your first house. However, more recently fewer Grantham youngsters have been buying, 
choosing to rent instead – mainly from private landlords (as Councils have been selling off council housing on the 
Right to Buy Schemes). The numbers are truly staggering ... and I want to share them with you. 
Roll the clock back 20 years and Grantham was a different place. There were 14,071 households in Grantham and 
8,627 of those were owner occupied. Move to the present, and with all the building in the town, the total number of 
households has increased by 27.5% to 17,944 and quite surprising (to me at least), the number of owner-occupiers 
has increased to 11,169 (although as a proportion, it is only 62.2% compared to 61.3% twenty years ago). 
However, it’s rented sector that is truly fascinating … twenty years ago, only 1,219 properties were 
privately rented in Grantham ... and now its 3,375, a rise of 2,156. 
The twentysomethings of Grantham housing difficulties haven͛t been helped by the local authority selling off council 
housing, with the number of council houses dropping from 3,107 to 2,433 over the same twenty-year period. 
Demand for decent rented property remains high, as Cameron͛s much vaunted house building program is years 
away and has decades of under investment to catch up on before it starts to affect demand. Even with the Buy to Let 

tax rule changes over the coming few years (which will see the maximum tax relief available to landlords drop from 
45% to 20%), private landlords still have an important role to play in housing the people of Grantham and those who 
educate themselves and treat it as a business will survive and prosper. 
The best way Grantham landlords can protect their income from property (and mitigate the affects of the tax rises) is 
to keep the homes they let out in Grade A condition. I have found, especially over the last three or four years, 
Grantham tenants have ever growing demands from their rental property, but many are prepared to pay ͚top dollar͚ 
for houses and apartments that meet their high expectations. You must not forget, letting property in Grantham (in 
fact anywhere) is a business, so all private landlords should also seek the advice, opinion and commentary of 
property professionals. 
... And just as the other half had sorted the family, he asked ͚What of the news of Stamp Duty changes for Landlords 
coming in April?͛ My thoughts are with such low supply (i.e. numbers of property for sale), and high demand it is 
hard to imagine Grantham property values will see much impact – but I predict, ever so slightly, the proportion of 
owner occupiers should increase slightly compared to buy to let landlords in the coming decade as the the housing 
market should return to balance. For more in-depth thoughts on the Grantham Property Market, which have a 
library of similar articles like this, all on the Grantham Property Market, please visit my blog