Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Canterbury census figures released

It seems a distant memory three years ago when we were filling in our Census Returns, but now the figures are beginning to be released, especially the statistics about property. The figures for each individual town and city have been released, so let’s look at the Canterbury City Council figures. In the city there are 60,771 households, just under two thirds of properties are owned, 66% to be precise (40,107 households) of which 21,578 don’t have a mortgage (lucky people!). Renting interests me and 10,665 householders rent their house (or 17.5% of households to be exact).

So, with just over a sixth of households being rented in the city (and the immediate villages), which is only just above the national average of 15.6%, where does that put Canterbury? For renting, Canterbury is in the top 25% of local authorities when it comes to renting (66th out of 347 authorities) but we are in the bottom 25% for social housing (Council Housing) at 222nd out of 347 local authorities.

So does that mean there is an oversupply of rental properties in Canterbury?..... quite the opposite! Demand continues to be good from quality tenants who are prepared a pay a decent rent, but only for a decent property (if you remember a few weeks back, I said the landlords in Canterbury, on average over the last year, achieved a total return of over 13.8% a year). If there were a glut of rental properties, there would be an oversupply of property to rent, driving prices down. In the lettings industry, it is recognised there will always be 5% of the rental market up for rent at any one time, which means there should be 533 properties to let today in Canterbury (5% of 10,665 as mentioned above) .. I am pleased to tell you there are only 350 as I write this article!

 Don’t get me wrong, tenants are more discerning in the properties they rent. Woodchip wallpaper and no central heating won’t cut the mustard anymore. However, present your Canterbury property to a good standard and price it right and you should do very well. If you are considering becoming a landlord or are an established landlord who is thinking of buying another property to rent out in Canterbury, please do your homework. Feel free to ask my opinion on what makes a 'decent property'. It's in my interest for you to buy the right property for you, not me. I don't charge for that opinion, because I hope you will recommend me to your friends, which in fact is the best compliment you can make.

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