Room-for-Rent Numbers Falling

Opportunities abound in the buy-to-let sector, as room-for-rent numbers continue to fall. According to research from easyroommate.co.uk, a lack of rooms and consistent demand from renters has been pushing up rents....

Opportunities abound in the buy-to-let sector, as room-for-rent numbers continue to fall. According to research from easyroommate.co.uk, a lack of rooms and consistent demand from renters has been pushing up rents by an average of 0.35 per cent per month since January 2012. By the end of the year, it is expected that the cost of sharing a flat will rise by 4.3 per cent, while those looking to live alone will be faced with even larger bills.

It is expected that by December 2013, average rents will reach GBP 448 per month. This is GBP 18 more than the current average of GBP 430. The flatshare market is proving to be particularly lucrative, as the number of bedrooms available plummets. Since January 2012, rooms for flatshare have dropped by over two fifths (44 per cent). The imbalance between supply and demand has caused rents to rise by 3.6 per cent over the same period.

Jonathan Moore, director of easyroommate.co.uk, said: "The last few years have been tough for renters and 2013 will be no different. Falling numbers of rooms available to rent is putting strain on supply and leading to higher and higher rents. Flatsharing remains a much more cost-effective option for renters but anyone hoping to rent a room this year needs to be aware of the rising costs and factor this into their budgeting."

For buy-to-let landlords, they should be aware that it isn't just youngsters they should be targeting as there are more and more people choosing to flat share in later life.

Since January 2012, easyroommate.co.uk has witnessed 34 per cent more retirees looking for short-term flat-share accommodation. However, the average rental period among this age group has dropped from over six months to just over four months. This suggests that more and more retired renters are using flatshare as a cheap stop-gap when downsizing. With 3.2 million homeowners planning on downsizing, this creates plenty of opportunities for landlords.

- Monday 10 June 2013

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