Source: Homelet Rental Index (January 2017 data)
The latest figures show that average rents for new tenancies show a small decline in the South-East compared with those of 12 months earlier. Is this the start of something new? I suggest not, at least not in West Oxfordshire, and here are 5 reasons why:
- Net migration into West Oxfordshire is rising and, according to the statisticians at Oxfordshire County Council, West Oxfordshire is set to be the fastest growing district in the County:
- The volume of new homes being built is still below target – West Oxfordshire needs to complete, on average 660 new dwellings every year until 2031.
- Inflation is rising (and so are wages). The rate of inflation rose to 1.8% in January, up from 1.6% in December 2016. This is the highest level since June 2014 and has been attributed to increased motor fuel prices and a slowdown in the fall in food prices. In the South-East, the household rent to income ratio is broadly flat at 29.5% (London is nearly 32%).
- Home ownership is still unaffordable for many – In West Oxfordshire, where salaries average £27,862, the typical worker would need a £50,582 pay rise (181%) to get a mortgage for an average home in the district, according to Cottsway Housing Association Ltd.
- Landlord costs are increasing and these will likely be passed on to tenants (tax changes from 1st April 2017, Stamp Duty levy and the impending ban on up-front fees to tenants). The cumulative effect of these changes could also potentially reduce the volume of private rental properties if some landlords are forced to quit the sector altogether.