Boom­ing ren­tal mar­ket looks set to con­tinue into 2013

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

Con­se­quently more peo­ple are rent­ing for longer and de­mand is out­strip­ping sup­ply. The best ex­am­ple of this can be found at Crispin Lofts, the first new city scheme to com­plete for some years, where de­mand is so high that more than 70 apart­ments were rented al­most as soon as they were re­leased.

We have ex­pe­ri­enced such a high level of take-up through­out this year that our port­fo­lio of rented apart­ments, which is the largest in the city cen­tre, is more than 99.5 per cent oc­cu­pied, the high­est it has ever been.

Un­for­tu­nately, we are un­likely to see any new sup­ply next year which means that de­mand will con­tinue to out­strip sup­ply, which will, of course, have an im­pact on rents. They are likely to con­tinue to creep up in 2013. With both The Leeds Arena and Trin­ity Quar­ter, the only ma­jor shop­ping cen­tre in west­ern Europe that will com­plete in 2013, open­ing next year, we will see an­other surge of new brands, new jobs and new vis­i­tors coming to Leeds. Th­ese mile­stones will pro­vide fur­ther ten­ant de­mand as well as adding to the ap­peal of the city cen­tre as a home.

The late open­ing hours at Trin­ity will bring a Euro­pean style at­mos­phere to Brig­gate, Com­mer­cial Street and Boar Lane and per­haps open up op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate homes above the shops.

Sales have also been pos­i­tive this year with a re­cent up­turn dur­ing the sec­ond half of the year. Au­gust was our best month for the num­ber of sales agreed since the boom of Au­gust 2007 and whereas in re­cent years a strong month has of­ten been fol­lowed by a big dip the fol­low­ing month, we have now seen four con­sec­u­tive months of strong sales per­for­mance which is ex­tremely en­cour­ag­ing.

The mort­gage lenders con­tinue to cre­ate bar­ri­ers for bor­row­ers but the hardy and the ex­pe­ri­enced per­sist and even­tu­ally find a way to pro­ceed.

We are pos­i­tive about the sales mar­ket next year and hope to see our best per­for­mance for five years.

We be­lieve that the mar­ket has reached its low­est point and that the econ­omy in Leeds is go­ing to get a real boost next year.

Ul­ti­mately the very English de­sire to own a home will start to force its way back as the driv­ing force in the prop­erty mar­ket and we will see more and more peo­ple tak­ing that first step onto the prop­erty lad­der.

One of the key is­sues for the let­tings mar­ket in 2013 will be the cam­paign to abol­ish all fees charged by agents. We need to get a hold of the is­sue and tackle it head on. There is mount­ing pres­sure on the Government to abol­ish agent’s fees in Eng­land and Wales fol­low­ing a cam­paign by the char­ity Shel­ter which helped to ban all fees charged to ten­ants in Scot­land.

There is a sub­stan­tial cost as­so­ci­ated with run­ning a let­tings busi­ness and staff can’t carry out view­ings, in­ven­to­ries, check ref­er­ences and com­plete other ad­min­is­tra­tion tasks for free. It’s es­sen­tial that our Government doesn’t panic and feel forced into re-struc­tur­ing the en­tire let­tings in­dus­try be­cause of a hand­ful of un­scrupu­lous op­er­a­tors in the busi­ness who are charg­ing ex­or­bi­tant fees.

The Government needs to con­sult with let­tings agents and those cam­paign­ing for a ban on fees to reach a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial out­come. Let­ting agents have to make a profit in or­der to em­ploy staff, ser­vice land­lords and find and man­age prop­er­ties for ten­ants, and of course those ten­ants must be given a clear and sim­ple ex­pla­na­tion of any fees they are paying up front.

Jonathan Mor­gan, Mor­gans City Liv­ing, www.cityliv­ing.co.uk

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