I had an interesting chat the other day with a Northampton landlord. He said he had been chatting with an architect friend of his who said back in the mid 2000’s, the developments he was asked to draw were a balance of one and two bed properties, compared to today where the majority of the buildingshe is designing are more towards two and sometimes three bedrooms. Now of course, this was all anecdotal but it made me think if similar things were happening in the Northampton property market?
This is a really important point as I explained to this landlord, as knowing when and where the demand of tenants is going to come from in the coming decade is just as important as knowing the supply side of the buy to let equation, in relation to the number of properties built in Northampton, Northampton property prices, Northampton yields and Northampton rents.
In 2001, there were 80,800 households with a population of 194,400 in the Northampton Borough Council area. By 2011, that had grown to 88,700 households and a populationof 212,100.
…meaning, between 2001 and 2011, whilst the number of households in the Northampton Borough Council area grew by 9.79%, the population grew by 9.06 %
Nothing surprising there then. But, as my readers will know, there is always a but! My analysis of the 2011 Census results, using the most recent in-depth data on household formation (e.g ‘one person households’, ‘couples/ family households’ or ‘couple + other adults households and multi -adult households’), has displayed a sudden and unexpected break with the trends of the whole of the 20th Century. There has been a seismic change in household formation in Northampton between 2001 and 2011.
Looking at figures specifically for Northampton itself,
One person households – 30.5%
Couples/family households – 61.0%
Couple + other adults/multi-adult households – 8.5%
This decline was reflected in large scale shifts in the mix of householdtypes. In particular, there were far more “couple + other adults households and multi -adult households” than expected (8.5% is quite a lot of households). It can be put down to two things; increased international migration and changes to household formation. A particularly important reason for the difference can probably be attributed to the evidence that migrants initially form fewer households Also, changes to household formation patterns amongst the rest of the population, including adult children living longer with their parents and more young adults living in shared accommodation(as can be seen in the growth of HMO properties (Homes of Multiple Occupation).
So, what does all this mean for Northampton Homeowners and Landlords? Quite a lot in fact. There has been a subtle shift to slightly larger households in the last decade, meaning smart landlords might be tempted to buy slightly larger properties to rent out – again good news for homeowners who will get top dollar for their home as they sell on. But now with Brexit, household formation might swing the other way in the next decade? Who knows? Watch this space!