People move house for all sorts of reasons. Children leave home, go to University. Couples get married or move in together. Then they start a family and need more space – and before long they are looking for a home in the catchment area of a good school. In a competitive job market, professionals also need to be flexible and maybe move to gain a job promotion.
Sadly, at this time of year we also see a noticeable increase in enquiries from the newly single individuals looking for a smaller home – there is a well documented surge in couples splitting up and divorcing after Christmas, a period which can cause tension in many families and is the final straw for some.
The average person moves home every six years or so. But in London, it’s likely to be more frequently than that. The boom in the London rental market is partly due lack of affordable housing and restricted mortgage lending, but it’s also due to the increasingly transient lifestyles of professionals who need to move regularly or relocate as they progress up the career ladder – renting a property in London gives them the flexibility they need. Attitudes towards renting are starting to change too and for the young particularly, renting is now a way of life and is likely to remain so into their 30s, 40s and maybe beyond.
Of course, renting a property makes moving a lot easier – and cheaper – than buying and selling a new apartment. If your current rental home isn’t big enough (or is too big and you would like to save money by downsizing), if it isn’t close enough to a Tube station or perhaps would love to have a garden or just be closer to family, then moving to a new home is relatively straightforward.
For landlords, these constantly changing lifestyles are a real advantage. As renters seek to move to ensure their home continues to meet their evolving needs, landlords will always have a new and growing market for their property.
So if you’re a landlord, think about who will want to rent your property – corporate tenant or student for example, and what stage of life they might be at. That way you can present your property in a way that will appeal to them and make sure you’re meeting their needs – for example, a growing family might find extra storage a real bonus. A student will appreciate a fast internet speed.
If you’re not sure about what type of rental demand there is in your area, discuss this with a letting agent who is situated close to your property. A good agent should be able to advise on the current market conditions; what rent you can expect to achieve; what type of tenants are looking for in the area. This will ensure that you can meet the needs of your target market and rent your property more quickly.
One tip I always give investors is if you are buying a two bedroom apartment is to make sure it has two bathrooms as this will broaden its appeal to include professional sharers which is more commonplace now.
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