I had the most interesting chat with a local Headingley landlord the other day about my thoughts on the Headingley property market. The subject of the affordability of renting in Headingley came up in conversation and how that would affect tenant demand. Everyone wants a roof over their head, and since the Second World War, owning your own home has been an aspiration of many Brits. However, with rents at record highs, many are struggling to save enough for a house deposit.
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of paying the rent and bills and not saving, but even saving just a small amount each month will sooner or later add up. George Osborne announced such schemes as the upcoming Help to Buy
where the Government will top up a first time buyers deposit.
Therefore, I thought I would do some research into the Headingley property market and share with you my findings. Headingley tenants spend on average just over a third of their salary to have a roof over their head. According to my latest monthly research, the average cost of renting a home in Headingley is £1,030 per month. When the average annual salary of a Headingley worker stands at £35,146 per year, that means the average Headingley tenant is paying 35.1% of their salary in rent. I doubt there is much left to save for a deposit towards a house after that, and that my Headingley and Burley Property Blog reading friends is such a shame for the youngsters of Headingley and Burley.
You see one the reasons for rents being so high is property prices being high. As I have mentioned before, there is a severe lack of new properties being built in Burley and Headingley. It’s the classic demand vs supply scenario, where demand has increased, but the number of houses being built hasn’t increased at the same level. Also, Burley and Headingley people aren’t moving home as often as they did in the 80’s and 90’s, meaning there are fewer properties on the market to buy. If you recall, a few weeks ago I said back in Spring 2008, there were over 9,100 properties for sale in Headingley and since then this has steadily declined year on year, so now there are only 3,275 for sale in the suburb.
So, the planners in NW Leeds haven’t allowed enough properties to be built in the suburb and existing homeowners are not moving home as much as they used to, thus creating a double hit on the number of properties to buy. This is a long term thing and the continuing diminishing supply of housing has been happening for a number of decades and there simply aren’t enough properties in Headingley to match demand. These are the reasons house prices in Headingley have remained quite buoyant, even though economically, over the last 5 years, it was one of the worst on record for the country and the Yorkshire region as a whole.
However, things might not be all doom and gloom as originally thought, as a recent Halifax Survey (their Generation Rent 2015 Survey) suggested more and more people may be long term, if not lifelong tenants. In fact there is evidence in the report to suggest that the perception of how difficult it is to get on the housing ladder is vastly different between parents and people aged 20 to 45. It seems from this survey that the state of the UK economy has shifted priorities quite significantly in quite a short space of time. With fewer people able to save up the deposit required by mortgage lenders, more and more people are continuing to rent. This delay in moving up the property ladder has driven rents across the UK up as more people were seeking rental properties.
It is often said that more people in central Europe rent for longer or never own their own property. The last two census in 2001 and 2011 show that proportionally the percentage of people who own their own home in Britain is slowly reducing and, as a country, we are becoming more and more like Germany. That isn’t a bad thing as Germany is considered to have a more successful economy, one of the main stays, often quoted, is because they have a much more flexible and mobile workforce, (which renting certainly gives) and from that, they have a higher personal income than in the UK.
Therefore, if we are turning into a more European model and the young people of Headingley and the Country have changed their attitudes, demand for rental properties will only and can only go from strength to strength, good news for Headingley tenants as wages will start to rise and good news for NW Leeds landlords, especially as property values in Burley and Headingley are now 4.3% higher than a year ago!