February 12

23 million households surveyed – here’s what every buy-to-let landlord needs to know

The English Housing Survey paints the picture you must see

For buy-to-let landlords, it’s been a great century so far. And you don’t need to take our word for it. The recently released English Housing Survey examines the numbers that matter to property investors, and it makes interesting reading. In total, the report is 55 pages long. It gives landlords some great insight as to where the private rented sector is heading – and who doesn’t want to look into the future?
Having said this, 55 pages is a lot of reading to do. So, we’ve condensed the main findings into this five-minute read, saving you time and helping you to be better placed to profit from buy-to-let investment in the coming years.

What is the English Housing Survey?

The English Housing Survey is a government report that analyses England’s housing stock. It contains stacks of data that breaks down England’s housing stock into tenure types, property types, resident demographics, and housing trends. It also answers the questions that most buy-to-let landlords want to know. As a tool to help your property investment strategy, it’s one of the most valuable documents you could analyse – if you can find another report that covers England’s 23 million households so comprehensively, please do let me know!

How many households rent their property in the UK?

The private rented sector (PRS) is now larger than the social rented sector (SRS): there are 4.7 million households tenanted in the PRS, and 3.9 million in the SRS.

Is the PRS growing?

You bet! It has doubled since 2002. It looks likely that fast growth will continue.

How long can you expect a tenant to stay on your property?

The average length of tenancy is 3.9 years.

How much can you expect to receive in rental income?

Of course, how much rent you can charge depends upon lots of factors. These include the location of the property, type of property, and its age. But as a guide, the average rent in 2016/17 was £192 per week. In London, the average weekly rent was £309.

Don’t renters survive on benefits?

Some may, but the majority don’t. In fact, only 22% of households in the PRS receive Housing Benefits.

What is the most popular rental property?

Low-rise, purpose-built apartments, with the most common size being between 50 and 69 square metres of usable floor space.

Don’t all renters want to own their own home?

You might expect that they would, but people are becoming more tuned to renting as a lifestyle choice. Only 6 in 10 renters expect to buy a property in the future. With a growing population, clearly, the PRS will continue to grow.

So, who is the typical renter?

This is a difficult question to answer because renters come from all walks of life. However, there are some clear trends in place:

  • 46% of the tenants in the PRS are now in the 25 to 34-year-old range. This is up from 27% in 2006/7.
  • The percentage of tenants in the 35 to 44-year-old range has increased from 11% to 29% in the last 10 years.
  • The number of families renting in the PRS is also increasing – a million more than there were in 2006/7.

You should note that these percentages have increased despite governmental help for first-time buyers, and initiatives to increase homeownership. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect these trends to reverse anytime soon.
More good news for buy-to-let landlords: your tenants are likely to be working. However, not so likely as those who own their own homes:

  • 91% of homeowners are in work
  • Around 75% of tenants in the PRS are in work
  • Only 43% of SRS are in work

Where is the PRS most vibrant?

Across the UK, buy-to-let landlords have been rewarded for their investment by increased demand for rental properties. Without a doubt, affordability issues play a part in this. Perhaps this is the most significant factor in the high proportion of PRS as a tenure type in London. In the capital, almost one in three homes are rented from a private landlord. This compares to one in five in the rest of England.
However, we would expect both these percentages to rise in the coming years, as a range of factors encourages renting rather than buying. These factors include affordability issues, city centre regeneration, and lifestyle desires (e.g. mobility for work).
The English Housing Survey paints a very encouraging picture for buy-to-let landlords. Contact one of the Ezytrac team today on  +44  01522  503  717  to discover how you can maximise the long-term potential of property investment in the UK.


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