Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Massive drop in Homeownership in Canterbury

An Englishman’s home is his castle but when it comes to the UK the ‘Brit’s are still a nation of homeowners ‘(although wasn’t it Napoleon who thought we were all shop keepers!). It is interesting to note that up until the mid to late 1960’s, more people rented their home (albeit mostly from the local council) than owned their own. In fact, I was surprised to read that in 1921, over 75% of homes in England and Wales were privately rented with the remaining 25% being owner occupied. 

It was only after the Second World War, when the Beatles were rocking, that people started to buy instead of rent .. but instead of owning our property outright, we borrowed money from banks and building society’s to buy them and the roots of the growth of the private rental sector can be drawn back to the late 1970’s early 1980’s, when the council houses began to be sold off under the right to buy scheme.

In 2001, 72.4% of households were owner occupied in Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay, but ten years later, that percentage dropped massively to 65.9%  But here is the interesting part, when you look at the actual numbers of households, 40,277 households in Canterbury (plus Herne Bay and Whitstable) were owner occupied in 2001. Ten years later, in 2011, that number (who owned their own home) had only dropped to 40,107 households.

So why big drop in percentages but not in actual properties? An additional 5,187 properties were built in Canterbury between 2001 and 2011, but a lot of them were bought as buy to let investments, thus more than doubling the number of private rental properties in Canterbury. In fact, the number of properties in Canterbury, which were privately rented, jumped from 6,124 in 2001 to 10,665 in 2011!

With the Canterbury City Council housing waiting lists being in the 5 to 10 year range for a decent property in a decent location. Therefore, with no more council houses being built, and an increasing number of people looking for a roof over their head, private renting is the only option

With every report stating the rental market will continue to grow throughout the rest of this decade and beyond, linked with high demand and limited supply in the Canterbury, then if you are considering buying a property for buy to let investment in Canterbury, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be).. If you are a landlord, new or old, I am certainly more than happy for you to pick up the phone or visit the Canterbury office, here in Watling Street.

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