9 January 2020

Our CEO, Will Linley, reveals his rental market forecast for 2020.

For the ever-growing number of Yorkshire people looking to rent, the dominant theme for 2020 will again be a shortage of stock to meet their needs. 
 
We enter a new year and a new decade with a new Government - but also with this existing problem of spiralling demand and dwindling supply. It is a gap that is poised to widen further without urgent action at the highest level to drive through positive, sustainable change.
 
Whether through choice or circumstance, tenants are eyeing rental homes in ever-increasing numbers. And when they pick up the keys, they are staying for longer which is also limiting supply. As soon as 2024, it's projected around 1 in 4 households will be turning to the private rented sector - that's a 24% leap on the current trend. In the here-and-now, this shortage of supply brings with it the likelihood of another year of climbing monthly rents across much of the Yorkshire lettings market. 

The long-awaited Budget in February - if it wishes to 'turbo charge' the turnaround that's needed to inject new rental homes into the market, it must halt the increased tax burden that has dampened the investment appetite of many private landlords. 
 
The Budget will also be an early litmus test to see if the new Government is a listening one, and takes heed of industry warnings about the supply pipeline drying up. It failed to do so in 2019 when it persevered with the introduction of a letting fees ban - a move which, as widely predicted, has served only to increase rents - an unintended yet inevitable consequence. 
 
And there are mounting concerns as to whether another of Westminster's favoured policies - creating big Build to Rent developments, funded by institutions -  is a silver bullet cure-all for the sector's supply problems, or something that is primed to misfire.
 
Here in Yorkshire, as in many parts of the country, there seems to be over-optimism that it can deliver the right type of homes in the right location at the right price to meet the right needs.  
 
The focus on high-rise city centre towers of 20 storeys with largely one and two bed apartments commanding premium fees is at odds with where the real boost is needed - helping families to rent bigger homes in the suburbs, close to schools. Neither does it match the needs of Yorkshire's growing, ageing population. Let's remember the number of over-50s renting has soared at breathtaking rates across the UK in the last decade - there's over 1.2m 'silver tenants' now, double the total just a decade ago.
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