People are always going to need a roof over their heads and somewhere to live will never go out of
fashion – it’s a necessity for every single person. The 22 to 30 year olds of the area have a choice
to what type of roof they have; they can rent from a Housing Association, they can rent from a
private landlord or finally they can get a mortgage and buy one. In the 1970’s,80’s and 90’s,the
expected thing was to save like mad for two years for the deposit (going without luxuries) whilst
living at home or renting a cheap two up two down, then buy your first house.
However, more recently fewer E14 youngsters have been buying, choosing to rent instead –
mainly from private landlords. The numbers are truly staggering...and I want to share them
with you. Roll the clock back 10 years and the Docklands was a different place. There were
23,241 households in the area and 7,021 of those were owner occupied (4,927 with a mortgage).
Move to the present, and with all the building in the area, the total number of households has
increased substantially by 48% to 34,326 and quite surprisingly (to me at least), the number
of owner occupiers has substantially increased to 8,542. This now represents 25% compared
with 30% ten years ago.
However, it’s the rented sector that is truly fascinating. Ten years ago, only 4,373 properties
were privately rented in the Docklands.. and now its 12,059, a rise of 7,686.Demand for decent
rented property remains high, as Cameron’s much vaunted house building program is years
away and has decades of under investment to catch up on before it starts to affect demand.The
chances of these youngsters buying a property in The Docklands is diminishing with every year
that passes, so private landlords in the Docklands still have an important role to play in housing
the people in E14 Even with the Buy-to-Let tax rule changes over the coming few years (which
will see the maximum tax relief available to landlords drop from 45% to 20%), those landlords
who educate themselves and treat it as a business will survive and prosper.
The best method Docklands landlords can employ to maintain their income from property (and
mitigate the effects of the tax rises) is to keep the homes they let out in grade-A condition. I
have found, especially over the last three or four years, tenants in E14 have ever growing demands
from their rental property, but many are prepared to pay high rent for houses and apartments
that meet their exacting expectations. You must not forget, letting property in The Docklands
(in fact anywhere) is a business, so all private landlords should also seek the advice, opinion
and commentary of property professionals.
Property values over the last 24 months in the Docklands have risen by an impressive 27%.
So, even with the Stamp Duty changes for Landlords, which may well my thoughts are that with such
low supply and high demand, it’s hard to imagine much impact on The Docklands values. It might
interest you to note that over the last twelve months, only 2,010 properties have sold in the Docklands
area, compared with 2,330 in 2007. I predict that, the proportion of owner occupiers should increase
slightly compared to buy-to-let landlords in the coming decade.
If you own a property in an E or SE postcode area, you can now get a totally free and instant online rental
and sales valuation. Simply enter your postcode HERE and in 58 seconds you will get the numbers!
I produce a free monthly newsletter all about the Docklands and Canary Wharf property market.
Thanks for reading.