It was the private rental figures that caught my eye. With eight or nine years of recovery since the Credit Crunch, economic recovery and continuing low interest rates have done little to setback the mounting need for rented housing. In fact, with house price inflation pushing upwards much quicker than wage growth, this has made owning one's home even more out of reach for many Millennials, all at a time when the number of council/social housing has shrunk by just over 2.5% since 2003, making more households move into private renting.
There are 17,907 people living in 7,818 privately rented properties in Newport.
In the next nine years, looking at the future population growth statistics for the Newport area and making careful and moderate calculations of what proportion of those extra people due to live in Newport will rent as opposed to buy, 7,674 people (adults and children combined) will require a private rented property to live in.
Therefore, the number of Private Rented homes in Newport will need to rise by 3,351 households over the next nine years,
That's 372 additional Newport properties per year that will need to be bought by Newport landlords, for the next nine years to meet that demand.
... and remember, I am being conservative (with a small 'c') with those calculations, as demand for privately rented homes in Newport could still rise more abruptly than I have predicted as I would ask if Theresa May's policies of building 400,000 affordable homes (which would syphon in this 5-year Parliamentary term is rather optimistic, if not fanciful?
So, one has to ask wonder if it was wise to introduce a buy to let stamp duty surcharge of 3% and the constraint on mortgage tax relief could curtail and hold back the ability of private landlords to expand their portfolios?
Well a lot of landlords are taking on these new hurdles to buy to let and working smarter. Buying the property at the right price and using an agent to negotiate on your behalf (we do this all the time) and the 3% stamp duty level isn't an issue. Incorporating your property portfolio into a Limited Company is also a way to circumnavigate the issues of mortgage tax relief (although there are other hurdles that need to be navigated on that tack), but just look at the growth of proportion of Buy to Let properties in the Country since the Summer of 2016, something tells me smart Landlords are seeing these challenges as just that - challenges which can be overcome by working smarter.