Wednesday, 3 May 2017

How The Rented Sector Has Transformed The Property Market In Grantham

The Grantham housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the buy to let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both Grantham tenants and Grantham landlords.

A few weeks ago, the Government released a White Paper on Housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the Private Rental Sector played a major part in the future plans to housing. This is especially important for our growing Grantham population .

In 1981, the population of South Kesteven stood at 98,400..
and today it stands at 138,900.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 17% of households in the town.  The Government want to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes, in a housing sector that has grown due to worldwide economic forces, pushing home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

58.98% Grantham people owned their own home in 1981
28.61% Grantham people Rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981
 and 12.42% Grantham Rented from a Private Landlord         

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place people want to live in. With the population of South Kesteven set to grow to 161,000 by 2037 – it is imperative that South Kesteven District Council and Central Government all work together to actively ensure the residential property market doesn’t hold the area back , by encouraging the building and provision of quality homes for its inhabitants.

One idea the Government have proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the build-to-rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the Buy-To-Let sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘affordable private rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants, but in return, the new home builders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts nor offer 3 year tenancies – but it is something Grantham landlords need to be aware of as there will be greater competition for tenants

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. As these youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix.  Many Grantham youngsters see that renting their shelter needs  combines well with the freedom from a lifetime of maintenance and financial obligations to a property is an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in Grantham and the South Kesteven, be it B-T-L or B-T-R, has the prospective to play a very positive role.