He wanted to know my thoughts on the future
of the Chelmsford property market, and I would now like to share with you that
conversation, my Chelmsford 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 . it's a necessity for every single person. The 22 to
30 year olds of the city 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 1970's/80's and 90's, 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 Chelmsford 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 Chelmsford was a different place. There were 40,430 households in Chelmsford and 29,099 of those were owner occupied. Move to the present, and with all the building in the city, the total number of households has increased by 14.32% to 46,220 and quite surprising (to me at least), the number of owner-occupiers has increased to 32,357 (although as a proportion, it is only 70% compared to 71.9% twenty years ago).
However, it's rented sector that is truly fascinating - twenty years ago, only 1,823 properties were privately rented in Chelmsford ... and now its 6,095, a rise of 4,272.
The twentysomethings of Chelmsford housing difficulties haven't been helped by the local authority selling off council housing, with the number of council houses dropping from 6,616 to 1,144 over the same twenty-year period. Demand for decent rented property remains high, as Cameron's 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 Chelmsford and those who educate themselves and treat it as a business will survive and prosper.
The best way Chelmsford 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, Chelmsford tenants have ever growing demands from their rental property, but many are prepared to pay 'top dollar' for houses and apartments that meet their high expectations. You must not forget, letting property in Chelmsford (in fact anywhere) is a business, so all private landlords should also seek the advice, opinion and commentary of property professionals.
Well, my blog reading friends, if you want to read similar articles like this and what I consider to be the very best of buy to let deals in Chelmsford, irrespective of which agent is selling it, then please visit the Chelmsford Property Blog.