A Northampton man’s home… is his semi… or terrace… or bungalow!

Ok, a slight turn of phrase there on the classic, an Englishman’s home is his castle but when it comes to the UK the ‘Brit’s are still a nation of homeowners‘(although wasn’t it Napoleon who thought we were all shop keepers!). It is interesting to note that up until the mid to late 1960’s, more people rented their home (albeit mostly from the local council) than owned their own. In fact, I was surprised to read that in 1921, over 75% of homes in England and Wales were privately rented with the remaining 25% being owner occupied.

It was only after the Second World War, when the Beatles were rocking, that people started to buy instead of rent… but instead of owning our property outright, we borrowed money from banks and building societies to buy them and the roots of the growth of the private rental sector can be drawn back to the late 1970’s early 1980’s, when the council houses began to be sold off under the right to buy scheme. Even though 57,590 households in Northampton were owner occupied in 2001 and that number had only dropped to 55,622 households by 2011, the percentage of homeowner properties in Northampton dropped drastically from 71.25% to 62.68%. Why?, because whilst an additional 7,909 properties were built in Northampton between 2001 and 2011, a lot of them were bought as buy to let investments, thus more than doubling the number of private rental properties in Northampton. In fact, the number of properties in Northampton that were privately rented jumped from 5,663 in 2001 to 14,657 in 2011!

With stagnation in the number of people who own their home in Northampton and no more council houses being built, this is increasing the number of people looking to rent, as everyone needs a roof over their head. With the Northampton Council house waiting lists being in the 5 to 10 year range for a decent property in a decent location; it shouldn’t be forgotten that it is Northampton landlords, who house tenants waiting for a council house. Northampton landlords do not receive any subsidies from HMRC and income tax is paid on rents paid by the tenant and therefore these reduce the cost on the tax payer.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom in Northampton, as we have noticed more and more of the younger generation are renting because they can‘t afford to buy (raising a deposit being the sticking point for most), and a high percentage of the expansion in private renting actually from those who need and want temporary accommodation. There are even a few landlords who rent their own Northampton property out for the short term, for ease, and not necessarily purely for profit.

Therefore, with every report stating the rental market will continue to grow throughout the rest of this decade, with high demand and limited supply in the Northampton, if you are considering buying a property for investment in the near future in Northampton, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be) to give you what you want from your investment.

If you are a landlord, new or old, I am certainly more than happy for you to pick up the phone or pop in and see me on the Wellingborough Road, Northampton.

I would love to hear your views

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