Nearly 3 babies have been born for every new home that has been built in Central Bedfordshire since 2012, deepening the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard housing shortage.
This discovery is an important foundation for my concerns about the future of the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property market - when you consider the battle that todays twenty and thirty somethings face in order to buy their first home and get on the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property ladder. This is particularly ironic as these youngsters’ are being born in an age when the number of new babies born to new homes was far lower.
This will mean the babies being born now, who will become the next generation’s first-time buyers will come up against even bigger competition from a greater number of their peers unless we move to long term fixes to the housing market, instead of the short term fixes that successive Governments have done since the 1980’s.
Looking at the most up to date data for the area covered by Central Bedfordshire Council, the numbers of properties-built versus the number of babies born together with the corresponding ratio of the two metrics …
It can be seen that in 2016, 2.38 babies had been born in Central Bedfordshire for every home that had been built in the five years to the end of 2016 (the most up to date data). Interestingly, that ratio nationally was 2.9 babies to every home built in the ‘50s and 2.4 in the ‘70s. I have seen the unaudited 2017 statistics and the picture isn’t any better! (I will share those when they are released later in the year).
Our children, and their children, will be placed in an unprecedented and unbelievably difficult position when wanting to buy their first home unless decisive action is taken. You see it doesn’t help that with life expectancy growing year on year, this too is also placing excessive pressure on homes to live in availability, with normal population growth nationally (the number of babies born less the number of people passing away) accumulative by two people for every one home that was built since the start of this decade.
Owning one’s home is a measure many Brits to aspire to. The only long-term measure that will help is the building of more new homes on a scale not seen since the 50’s and 60’s, which means we would need to aim to at least double the number of homes we build annually.
In the meantime, what does this mean for Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords and homeowners? Well the demand for rental properties in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard in the short term will remain high and until the rate of building grows substantially, this means rents will remain strong and correspondingly, property values will remain robust.
The simple fact is we are not building enough properties. If the supply of new properties is limited and demand continues to soar with heightened divorce rates, i.e. one household becoming two, people living longer and continued immigration, this means the values of those existing properties continues to remain high and out of reach for a lot of people, especially the blue collar working families of Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard.
Looking at some recent statistics released by the Government, the ratio of the lower quartile house prices to lower quartile gross annual salaries in Central Bedfordshire Council has hit 11.15 to 1.
What does that mean exactly and why does it matter to Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords and homeowners?
If we ordered every property in the Central Bedfordshire Council area by the value of those properties, the average value of the lower quartile properties (i.e. lowest 25%) would be £230,000. If we then did the same, and ordered everyone’s salary in the same council area, the average of the lowest quartile (lowest 25%), the average salary of the lowest 25% is £20,634 pa, thus dividing one with the other, we get the ratio of 11.15 to 1.
Assuming there is one wage earner in the house, the chances of a Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard working family being able to afford to buy their own home, when it’s over eleven times their annual salary, is very slim indeed. The existing affordability crisis of people wanting to buy their own home is the unavoidable outcome of the decade on decade failure to build enough homes to keep up with demand. Nevertheless, improving affordability is not a case of just constructing more homes. Central Bedfordshire Council needs to ensure more properties are not only built, but built in the right locations and of the right type and at the right price to ensure the needs of these lower income working families are met, because at the moment, they presently have few options apart from the private rental sector.
Looking at the historic nature of the ratio, it can clearly be seen in the graph below that this has been an issue since the mid 2000’s. Previous figures from the late 90’s to mid 2000’s (South Bedfordshire Council) were significantly lower.
However, if one looks at the historic data, those on the bottom rung of the ladder (those in the lower quartile of wage earners) used to be housed by the local authority instead of buying. However, the vast majority of council houses were sold off in the 1980’s, meaning there are much fewer council houses today to house this generation.
Many of the lower quartile working class families were given a lifeline to buy their own homes in middle 2000’s, with 100% mortgages, but the with the credit crunch in 2009, that rug (of 100% mortgages) was rudely pulled from under their feet. You see it is cheaper to buy than rent ... it’s the finding of the 5% deposit that is the challenging issue for these Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard working class families. So unless the Government allow 100% mortgages back, the fact is, demand for rental properties will outstrip supply.
In the long term, to alleviate that, I would suggest the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard community hold their local politicians at Central Bedfordshire Council to account for the actions they could take to ensure the affordability of housing and the extent to which they work with private developers and housing associations and aggressively use the planning tools at their disposal to safeguard the local community getting the new households we need. Central Bedfordshire Council could make certain parcels of residential building land for private rented development only, eliminating the opportunity of the land being bought to develop large executive homes, which do not solve the current problem.
Yet in the short term, all this means is demand for rental properties will continue to grow, keeping Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard house prices high and Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard rents high.
A noteworthy number of buy to let landlords in Britain plan to buy more properties over the next year notwithstanding the frustrations, challenges and seismic changes in the private rented sector. According to Aldermore, the specialist Buy To Let lender, their research shows around 41% of portfolio buy to let landlord’s objective is to grow their buy to let portfolio (Portfolio landlords are landlords that own more than one property).
So, I thought, “Are Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords feeling the same?” If so, if these numbers were applied to the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard private rental market, what sort effect would it have on the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard property market as whole?
Talking to the landlords I deal with, most are feeling quite optimistic about the future of the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard rental market and the prospect it presents notwithstanding the doom and gloom prophecies that the property market will shrink. Many of those Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords who are looking to enlarge their portfolio are doing so because they still see the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard rental market as a decent investment opportunity.
With top of the range Bank and Building Society Savings Accounts only reaching 1.5% a year, the rollercoaster ride of Crypto currency and the yo-yoing of the Stock Market, the simple fact is, with rental yields in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard far outstripping current savings rates, the short term prospect of a minor drop in property prices isn’t putting off Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords.
The art to buying a Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard buy to let investment is to buy the profit on the purchase price, not the anticipation of the future sale price.
No matter what the historical economy has thrown at us, with the global meltdown in 2008/9, dotcom crash of 2000, ERM in 1992, the three day week, oil crisis and hyperinflation in the 1970’s (the list goes on) ... the housing market has always bounced back stronger in the long term. That’s the point ... long term. Investing in buy to let is a long-term strategy. The simple fact is, over the long term with the increasing demand for rental properties, predominantly among Millennials as many cannot afford to get on the property ladder, and with councils not building enough properties of any kind, many youngsters are having to resort the private rental market for their accommodation needs.
So, what if I look at the numbers involved in Leighton Buzzard?
There are 367 landlords that own just one buy to let (BTL) property in Leighton Buzzard and 798 Leighton Buzzard landlords, who are portfolio landlords. Between those 798 Leighton Buzzard portfolio BTL landlords, they own a total of 1,675 Leighton Buzzard BTL properties and they can be split down into the size of landlord portfolio in the graph below….
If I apply the Aldermore figures that means 327 Leighton Buzzard landlords have plans to expand their BTL portfolio in the coming year or so.
However, the Aldermore Research also showed that 8% of private landlords intended to reduce the number of properties they own. They put this down to continuing Government intervention in the housing market (as many landlords mentioned too many limitations and higher taxation) while some believed that tenants are excessively protected to the disadvantage of the landlord.
I would say there is no repudiating that the buy to let market has taken a bit of a beating, thanks to a plethora of Government regulation, new mortgage underwriting rules in 2014 and George Osborne’s tax changes. Yet there still remains an overall consciousness of optimism among the vast majority of Leighton Buzzard buy to let landlords. Despite these latest changes, many landlords still view buy to let as a good investment, as long as you buy right and expand your portfolio taking into account the second rule of buy to let … assess your position on the ‘buy to let seesaw’ of capital growth and yield.
In previous articles, I have spoken at length about the crisis in supply of property in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard (i.e. not enough property is being built), but in this article I want to talk about the other crisis – that of affordability. It is not just about the pure number of houses being built but also the equilibrium of tenure (ownership vs rented) and therein, the affordability of housing, which needs to be considered carefully for an efficient and effectual housing market.
An efficient and effectual housing market is in everyone’s interests, including Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard homeowners and Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords, so let me explain ..
An average of only 274 Affordable Homes per year have been built by Central Bedfordshire Council in the last 9 years
The requirement for the provision of subsidised housing has been recognised since Victorian times. Even though private rents have not kept up with inflation since 2005 (meaning tenants are better off) it’s still a fact there are substantial numbers of low-income households in Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard devoid of the money to allow them a decent standard of housing.
Usually, property in the social housing sector has had rents set at around half the going market rate and affordable shared home ownership has been the main source of new affordable housing yet, irrespective of the tenure, the local authority is simply not coming up with the numbers required. If the local authority isn’t building or finding these affordable homes, these Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard tenants still need housing, and some tenants at the lower end of the market are falling foul of rogue landlords. Not good news for tenants and the vast majority of law abiding and decent Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords who are tarnished by the actions of those few rogue landlords, especially as I believe everyone has the right to a safe and decent home.
Be it Tory’s, Labour, SNP, Lib Dems, Greens etc, everyone needs to put party politics aside and start building enough homes and ensure that housing is affordable. Even though 2017 was one of the best years for new home building in the last decade (217,000 home built in 2017) overall new home building has been in decline for many years from the heady days of the early 1970s, when an average of 350,000 new homes were being built a year. As you can see from the graph, we simply aren’t building enough ‘affordable’ homes in the area.
The blame cannot all be placed at the feet of the local authority as Council budgets nationally, according to Full-Fact, are 26% lower than they have been since 2010.
So, what does this mean for Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard homeowners? Well, an undersupply of affordable homes will artificially keep rents and property prices high. That might sound good in the short term, but a large proportion of my Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard landlords find their children are also priced out of the housing market. Also, whilst your Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard home might be slightly higher in value, due to this lack of supply of homes at the bottom end of the market, as most people move up the market when they do move, the one you want to buy will be priced even higher.
Problems at the lower end of the property market will affect the middle and upper parts. There is no getting away from the fact that the Dunstable & Leighton Buzzard housing market is all interlinked .. it’s not called the Property ‘Ladder’ for nothing!
The average asking price of property in Leighton Buzzard increased by 9.3% or £29,396 compared to a year ago, with particularly good demand from landlords and home-movers in the first few months of the year. This takes the current average asking price to £345,767, compared with £316,371 this time last year.
The rise in asking prices is being aggravated by buyers jumping into action looking to benefit from potential stamp duty savings (especially first-time buyers) or beat impending mortgage interest rate rises later in 2018. Of the numerous Leighton Buzzard buyers starting their property hunting in the usually active spring market this year, many faced paying even more than ever for the property of their dreams, although as I mentioned a few weeks ago, there are more properties for sale in Leighton Buzzard compared to 12 months ago.
Looking at the different sectors of the Leighton Buzzard property market, splitting it down into property types, one can see what is happening to each sector of the market with regard to their average asking prices now compared to a year ago. Firstly, looking at the Pound note amounts …
Interestingly, when one looks at the percentages, the most upward average asking price pressure is in the detached property type sectors.
Now, I must stress this growth in the asking prices of Leighton Buzzard property doesn’t mean the value of Leighton Buzzard property is going up by the same amount ... nothing could be further from the truth. Only time will tell if the current levels of Leighton Buzzard asking prices is a catch-up abnormality after a couple of months of restrained asking price rises in the first few months of 2018, or is it an initial sign that we are in for a better 2018 Leighton Buzzard Property market than all of us were expecting at the start of the year?
I believe these asking prices must be viewed with a pinch of salt, as it will be fascinating to see whether Leighton Buzzard properties actually sell at these higher asking prices. Just because house sellers (be they owner-occupiers or landlords liquidating their assets) are asking for more money it doesn’t mean buyers will be enthusiastic to part with their hard earned cash. Like my Mum and Dad used to say to me all those years ago, “You can ask ... but you might not get”.
Also, Leighton Buzzard homeowners and landlords wanting to sell their property need to be aware of progressively strained buyer mortgage affordability and the more those sellers increase asking prices, the more buyers will hit their maximum on the amount they are able borrow on a mortgage.
However, those Leighton Buzzard buyers who need a mortgage (be they owner-occupier or landlord), will paradoxically benefit from lower mortgage payments before interest rates rise … maybe another reason for the uplift in the number first time buyers and landlords buying? Only time will tell!
The rents paid by Leighton Buzzard tenants are now standing at £761 per calendar month (PCM), a rise of 1.55% year on year and 0.15% lower month on month.
However, this attention-grabbing monthly rent figure masks stark differences in the various different parts of the Leighton Buzzard rental market. Demand in Leighton Buzzard for high quality family homes with two or three bedrooms in good catchment areas for schools remains really robust due to tenants wanting access to the schools. Other influencing factors that make certain areas popular are the proximity to transport links. However, I have noticed a drop in demand (and thus rents achieved) for property where the landlord hasn’t kept the property fresh; in terms of decoration, carpets, replacement windows and poor heating.
So, what does all this mean for Leighton Buzzard landlords and tenants?
With the new tax rules for landlords, many believed that the number of rental properties would narrow throughout 2017, as landlords sold up their Buy to let properties and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but evidently this hasn’t happened (yet). Feasibly Leighton Buzzard landlords are re-mortgaging their Leighton Buzzard buy to let properties instead, as they still believe it’s a safer investment than looking, say at the stock market?
However, demand remained strong in 2017 for Leighton Buzzard private rental properties, meaning the rents being achieved were at a decent level for landlords. Keeping your outgoings low is also an important consideration and so I looked on a well-known financial services comparison site this morning and found a High Street bank offering a 5-year fixed rate for Buy to let landlords with a 40% deposit/equity for 2.17% … I can remember (as I am sure many of my readers of this blog can) when mortgage rates were at 15% - this is cheap money!
Looking at property values in Leighton Buzzard, over the last 12 months and specifically at the lower end of the market where buy to let landlords tend to buy their rental properties. Flats/apartments have risen in value by 3.54% whilst terraced properties have risen by 4.26%.
Some Leighton Buzzard landlords have seen the yields they are achieving remain squeezed.
However, most landlords can start to feel assured that as capital growth in Leighton Buzzard remains at a more realistic figure (good for long term stability in the property market) and long-term rents are on the rise, the overall corresponding annual return on investment (Annual ROI being annual capital + annual yield) has stabilised in all areas and is now starting to grow.
With additional people seeing renting as a long-term option, even with the challenges of the new tax regime, Leighton Buzzard landlords, with the support of a good advice and opinion, should continue to see renting as a good investment vehicle.
The Millennials were born between the mid 1980’s and late 1990’s thus making them between the age of around 22 to late 30’s. They are the imaginative, artistic youngsters who grew up with the newest tech and computers and who are huge aficionados of music festivals, gourmet pizzas, emoji’s, selfies and old school nostalgia. Also known as Generation Rent, many Millennials have discovered that renting is a good choice for their shelter and accommodation needs without the hassle that comes from buying a home. Nonetheless, that is not the only reason they don’t buy property. When they should be concentrating on their profession, putting down roots and starting a family, Millennials are still going through the pressure and strain of student loan liabilities whilst, at the same time, finding it tough to pay rent.
The hot topic at the moment is the cost of renting, as both political parties have seen mileage in wooing these Millennial Generation Renters. The average rent in Leighton Buzzard is currently £830 per month making this a big-ticket item on the monthly budget. I was inquisitive to find out exactly how much Leighton Buzzard Millennials will spend on rent by the time they reach their mid 30’s. The average age people leave home in the UK is 22; so looking at a Leighton Buzzard 22-year-old (or Millennial) who left home in 2005 then between 2005 and today that Leighton Buzzard Millennial will have shelled out £117,453 in rent.
It’s no wonder local Millennials can’t afford to buy a Leighton Buzzard home given their tremendous debt. This means younger Leighton Buzzard Millennials will probably carry on renting for the foreseeable future, simply because the prospect of buying a home is not yet achievable.. that is until you look more deeply at the numbers…
Looking at the chart above, the average rent of a Leighton Buzzard property in 2005 was £688 per month (pm) … if it had risen by inflation, today, that would be £969 pm. As I have already mentioned in the article, today it only stands at £830 per month. Looking over the last 12 years, adding up all the differences between what the average actual rent was compared to what it should have been if rent had gone up by inflation, the average Leighton Buzzard Millennial tenant would have paid £130,131.
This means that an average 35-year-old Leighton Buzzard Millennial tenant, who has been renting since 2005, is better off by £12,678 when comparing the actual rent paid compared to what it would have been if it had risen by inflation. In a nutshell, tenants have done well due to the sub-inflation growth in rents.
In fact, if you recall I mentioned in an article a few weeks ago, the older Leighton Buzzard Millennials are starting to use those savings and are gradually shifting towards home ownership. They are finally catching up with the British homeownership dream as Bank of Mum and Dad help with the deposit. Also, the scrapping of Stamp Duty from the Government starts to kick in together with the realisation that if the 5% mortgage deposit can be scrapped together (yes, 95% first time buyer mortgages have been available since 2009), it is still a lot cheaper to buy than rent, meaning this will unquestionably drive demand for Leighton Buzzard homes for sale – good news for Leighton Buzzard homeowners.
… and what does this mean for Leighton Buzzard landlords?
Well the vast majority of younger Millennials are still renters and I foresee this to be the case for at least the next ten to fifteen years. Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants and they will see a much higher rent achieved. Millennials will pay top dollar for a top dollar property. It is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years. With a greater number of properties on the market .. comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart … because as I promised a few weeks ago, the first rule of Buy To Let Investment ….. “You are not going to live in the property yourself”
Beast from the East, Russia, Facebook, Brexit, Trump, House prices up, House prices down ... the Press is full of column inches on Brit’s favourite subjects of politics, scandal, weather and not forgetting (and I appreciate the irony of this!) the property market. As an agent belonging a national group of letting and estate agents, talking to my fellow property professionals from around the UK, the one thing that is immediately apparent is the UK does not have one property market. It is a hodgepodge patchwork (almost like a fly’s eye) of lots of small property markets all performing in different ways.
… And that made me think … is there just one Leighton Buzzard Property Market or many?
I like to keep an eye on the property market in Leighton Buzzard on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Leighton Buzzard, be that a buy-to-let property for a Leighton Buzzard landlord or an owner occupier house for a home owner. So, I thought, how could I scientifically split the Leighton Buzzard housing market into segments, so I could see which part of the market was performing the best and the worst.
I decided the best way was to split the Leighton Buzzard property market into four equal size price bands (into terms of households for sale). Each price band would have around 25% of the property in Leighton Buzzard, from the lowest in value (the Lowest Quartile or 25%) all the way through to the highest 25% in terms of value, the Upper Quartile. Looking at the market, I have calculated that these are the price bands in Leighton Buzzard are as follows:
Surprisingly, the best performing price range in Leighton Buzzard is the upper end of the middle market. As I would expect, the upper quartile (the top 25%) is finding things toughest. Interestingly for Leighton Buzzard landlords, the lower market isn’t selling quite as well as other sectors, so maybe there could be some bargains out there for buy to let investment? Even though the number of first time buyers did increase in 2017, it was from a low base and the vast majority of 20 something’s cannot buy, so need a roof over their head (hence the need to rent somewhere).
It is a fact that British (and Leighton Buzzard’s) housing markets have ridden the storms of Oil crisis in the 1970’s, the 1980’s depression, Black Monday in the 1990’s, and latterly the Credit Crunch together with the various house price crashes of 1973, 1987 and 2008. No matter what happens to us Brexit or anything else ... unless the Government starts to build hundreds of thousands extra houses each year, demand will always outstrip supply … so maybe a time for Leighton Buzzard landlord investors to bag a bargain?
Want to know where those Leighton Buzzard buy to let bargains are? Follow my Leighton Buzzard Property Blog or drop me an email because irrespective of which agent you use, myself or any of the other excellent agents in Leighton Buzzard, many local landlords ask me my thoughts, opinion and advice on what (and not) to buy locally … and I wouldn’t want you to miss out on those thoughts ... would you?
As I have mentioned a number times in my local property market blog, with not enough new-build properties being built in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area to keep up with demand for homes to live in (be that tenants or homebuyers), it’s good to know more Leighton Buzzard home sellers are putting their properties on to the market than a year ago.
At the start of 2007 there were 441 properties for sale in Leighton Buzzard but by May 2008, when the credit crunch was really beginning to bite, that number had risen to 790 properties on the market at a time when demand was at an all-time low, thus creating an imbalance in the local property market.
Basic economics dictates that if there is too much supply of something and demand is poor (which it was in the Credit Crunch years of 2008/9) … prices will drop. In fact, house prices dropped between 15% and 20% depending on the type of Leighton Buzzard property between the end of 2007 and Spring 2009.
However, over the last five years, we have seen a steady decrease in supply of properties coming onto the market for sale and steady demand, meaning Leighton Buzzard property prices have remained robust. A stable housing market is one of the foundations of a successful British economy, as it’s all about getting the healthy balance of buyer demand with a good supply of properties. Nevertheless, if you had asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said we were beginning to see there was in fact NOT enough properties coming on to the market for sale … meaning in certain sectors of the Leighton Buzzard property market, house prices were overheating because of this lack of supply.
So, it is pleasing to note, looking at the recent numbers …
There are 34% more properties for sale in Leighton Buzzard today than a year ago
There were 213 properties for sale 12 months ago, and today that stands at 285. Definitely a step in the right direction to a more stable property market.
Even better news, since the Chancellor announced the stamp duty rule changes for first time buyers (FTB), my fellow agents in Leighton Buzzard say that the number of FTB’s registering on the majority of agent’s books has increased year on year. That has still to follow through into more FTB’s buying their first home, however, with the heightened levels of confidence being demonstrated by both Leighton Buzzard house sellers and potential house buyers, I do foresee the Leighton Buzzard Property Market will show steady yet sustained improvement during the first half of 2018.
What does this mean for Leighton Buzzard landlords or those considering dipping their toe into the buy to let market for the first time? Landlords will need to keep improving their properties to ensure they get the best tenants. It is true that demand amongst FTB’s is increasing, albeit from a low base. Even with the new landlord tax rules, buy to let in Leighton Buzzard still looks a good investment, providing Leighton Buzzard landlords with a good income at a time of low interest rates and a roller coaster stock market.
If you are thinking of investing in bricks and mortar in Leighton Buzzard, it is important to do things correctly as making money won’t be as easy as it has been over the last twenty years. With a greater number of properties on the market .. comes greater choice. Don’t buy the first thing you see, buy with your head as well as your heart … and don’t forget the first rule of Buy To Let Investment …..
I will tell you that 1st rule in a couple of weeks!
The value of all the homes in Leighton Buzzard has risen by more than 256% in the past two decades, to £4.647bn, meaning its worth more than the stock listed company Melrose Industries, which is worth £4.379bn.
Those Leighton Buzzard homeowners and Buy-to-Let landlords who bought their homes twenty or more years ago have come out on top, adding thousands and thousands of pounds to the value of their own Leighton Buzzard homes as the younger generation in Leighton Buzzard continue to be priced out of the market. This is even more remarkable because, in those twenty years, we had the years of 2008 and 2009 following the global financial crisis, where we saw a short term drop in Leighton Buzzard house prices of between 15% and 20% (depending on the type of property). And although there have been a number of consecutive years of growth in property values recently in Leighton Buzzard it hasn’t been anywhere near the levels seen in the early 2000’s.
Twenty years ago, the total value of Leighton Buzzard property was worth £1.302bn. Over those twenty years, total property values have increased by £3.345bn, meaning today, the total value of all the properties in Leighton Buzzard is worth £4.647bn. Even more remarkable, when you consider the FTSE100 has only risen by 40.84% in the same time frame. Also, when I compared it with inflation, i.e. the UK Retail Price Index, inflation had risen by 72.2% during the same twenty years.
So, what does this all mean for Leighton Buzzard? Well as we enter the unchartered waters of 2018 and beyond, even though property values are already declining in certain parts of the previously over cooked central London property market, the outlook in Leighton Buzzard remains relatively good as over the last five years, the local property market has been a lot more sensible than central London’s.
Leighton Buzzard house values will remain resilient for several reasons. Firstly, demand for rental property remains strong with persistent immigration and population growth. Secondly, with 0.25% interest rates, borrowing has never been so cheap and finally, the simple lack of new house building in Leighton Buzzard. Not even keeping up with current demand, let alone eating into years and years of under investment mean only one thing – yes it might be a bumpy ride over the next 12 to 24 months but, in the medium term, property ownership and property investment in Leighton Buzzard has and always will, out ride out the storm.
In the coming weeks, I will look in greater detail at my thoughts for the 2018 Leighton Buzzard Property Market.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice