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How Many Properties Available To Let?

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Can any of you resourceful people think of a way to find out how many properties are vacant and available to let in the uk each day?

I thought it would be interesting to find out how many "property days" are effectively wasted by properties lying empty in void periods. The average number per day would equate to the number of properties that could be owned and occupied by UK citizens, if it were not for the scourge of the BTL landlord.

Ok, so that seems a little extreme, but if we can compare the proportion of the housing market that is in BTL hands currently to what it was say 5 or 10 yrs ago, it may go someway to explaining the boom in house prices. If there has been a huge increase in BTL properties, each with a few weeks void a year, they will have taken property out of circulation that would otherwise have been occupied by owner occupiers.

When owner occupiers move, they typically move from one property to another on the same day (hence the notorious "chains" in the market traditionally). This means that are no wasted "property days".

With BTL properties, there are voids of often several weeks or longer, leading to wastage of "property days". This wastage is an inefficiency in the housing system, meaning that more properties are required than would be the case if all participants were owner occupiers who move immediately from one property to the next.

So, the rise of BTL may have increased the overall number of "property days" required in the UK in the last 10 years, hence an imbalance between supply and demand and rising prices of this last bull run.

We will all have paid for these wasted "property days" either through buying homes at higher prices, or paying increased rents over the period (I am not certain, but I suspect rents have risen above inflation rate over the past 10 yrs, although they appear to be stable to falling now).

Perhaps this is the price to pay for increased flexibility in the UK housing market, which has perhaps been of some benefit to the economy (e.g. workers moving to growth areas such as London and the SE can be easily accomodated at rates within their means).

Please note, I am not raging against BTL here, merely trying to add another layer of comprehension to what otherwise seems like insanity (i.e. massive rises in house prices without corresponding increases in wages).

Please tell me why I am talking out of my a*se, or forward this to the judging panel for the Nobel Prize for Economics!

STF :)

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Can any of you resourceful people think of a way to find out how many properties are vacant and available to let in the uk each day?

I thought it would be interesting to find out how many "property days" are effectively wasted by properties lying empty in void periods. The average number per day would equate to the number of properties that could be owned and occupied by UK citizens, if it were not for the scourge of the BTL landlord.

Ok, so that seems a little extreme, but if we can compare the proportion of the housing market that is in BTL hands currently to what it was say 5 or 10 yrs ago, it may go someway to explaining the boom in house prices. If there has been a huge increase in BTL properties, each with a few weeks void a year, they will have taken property out of circulation that would otherwise have been occupied by owner occupiers.

When owner occupiers move, they typically move from one property to another on the same day (hence the notorious "chains" in the market traditionally). This means that are no wasted "property days".

STF :)

Its not the number to rent but it is the empty homes stats :

http://www.emptyhomes.com/resources/statis.../statistics.htm

Follow the links and strange - Kensington and Chelsea appear to be a potential squatters paradise. Can any one explain that?

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Its not the number to rent but it is the empty homes stats :

http://www.emptyhomes.com/resources/statis.../statistics.htm

Follow the links and strange - Kensington and Chelsea appear to be a potential squatters paradise.  Can any one explain that?

I don't think that these permanently/long term empty homes are relevant to my theory, as the total numbers for England from your website link are slightly decreasing over the period. This is consistent with an increased demand for property - as prices increased over the past 10 yrs, some of those absentee landlords were probably tempted to make a few bob by flogging their properties.

I want to focus on the impact of BTL on the number of empty properties at any given time. I don't think the link you gave covers BTL void periods.

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Let's start by disagreeing about the flexibility of what I assume you imply the current rental market to be. In fact UK's rental market is the least flexible in Europe. Why? Because as an over -reaction to security of tenure for life, Thatcher went to the other extreme and gave no security of tenure at all!

A rental market which is geared to 6 months leases is the opposite of flexibility. Having to move (or the likelyhood of having to move) every 6 months is not flexible....it is merely unstable. A population on the move because it cannot find a home is NOT flexibility.

Real flexibility is the availability of CHOICE, and there is very little of that around currently, because choice is not just a whole load of badly serviced, overpriced "luxury executive studio flats" for £1000 per month but should be a choice of different types of letting, a wide range of tenures and a value for money SERVICE to the tenant who is PAYING for that service.

Blinkered as the British public is, with the ridiculously outmoded concept of "Landlord" and "Tenant" rather than A PROVIDER of a service and a USER of that service, as is well established in more enlightened areas of Europe, it is hard to see how the rental market can ever get on to a civilised footing, however many flats and houses happened to be available.

But in answer to your main point, there are probably a record number of rental properties currently on the market. Yet, they, like houses for sale, are often vastly over-priced and carry with them extremely intrusive "conditions" on the renter. They are however still cheaper than most equivalent for-sale houses in monthly terms and that indicates to me that many thousands of Yuppie BTL's are offloading their "investments" because the whole point of them in the first place was not to supplement their mortgages or make a steady income, but to make a quick killing with property inflation. Up to now the average BTL'er was hardly concerned with actually making that much money in rent alone, since the inflationary target of their "investment" was almost the sole reason for acquiring their "portfollio".

I don't know if it is possible to ascertain precisely how many rental properties are up for grabs, but it is clear by looking at any EA's window that many agents are using BTL's as a substitute for normal work, and they are charging vast sums (usually to the tenant) to do so.

I predict that if anything the rental market will crash more heavily and more suddenly than the rest of the property market, simply because landlords will dump their "portfolios" without any procrastination way before they will hand in the keys to their own properties. The rental market will therefore become in essence an apocolypse and the market will be flooded with empty, languishing, unlet buildings, initially sat upon by receivers, accountants and building societies and then offloaded in a mixture of letting frenzy at knock down prices followed by the inevitable auctions.

The whole mess will be ludicrously inflamed by the still-in-place lack of security with continuing 6 monthly leases.

For examples of civilised landlord and tenant policy which has worked for both sides successfully for many decades, see Germany, Holland and Belgium, where a stable market, decent security of tenure and letting seen as a "service" rather than Rachman versus Chav tenants battles has resulted in a steady and agreeable rental sector.

And we call the UK a "civilised" society. Pah!

VP

Edited by VacantPossession

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STF,

There is too much supplyof/not enough demand for property to rent otherwise there wouldn't be any voids.

Hand... straws.  You'd better offload your portfolio.

Jayne - I do not have any portfolio to offload. I do not own any property or other investments, only a small amount of cash. I am not bullish on property or BTL.

I agree with your statement above to some extent, but surely the fact is that letting property on 6-12 month leases as opposed to a system where a higher proportion of property is occupied by owners will lead to some inefficiency.

The system demands frequent matching of landlord and tenant, and they can't all be in the same place at the same time. If there was so much demand in the market that properties never had voids I would expect that rents and house prices would be much higher than they are currently due to this increased demand.

I am a tenant, and if I knew that there were 10 people wanting the flat I wanted to live in, I would be very fearful of being homeless. That would be an extreme scenario.

Supply/demand is a continuum, not a binary switch. My argument is not that the two are perfectly matched, but that we have moved further along the continuum towards a shortage of supply over the past 10 years, rather than staying where we were or moving towards a shortage of demand.

Please note, I am not talking about the market as it is today (obviously struggling), but at how it changed in the past 10 yrs to bring us to this point.

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Let's start by disagreeing about the flexibility of what I assume you imply the current rental market to be. In fact UK's rental market is the least flexible in Europe. Why? Because as an over -reaction to security of tenure for life, Thatcher went to the other extreme and gave no security of tenure at all!

A rental market which is geared to 6 months leases is the opposite of flexibility. Having to move (or the likelyhood of having to move) every 6 months is not flexible....it is merely unstable. A population on the move because it cannot find a home is NOT flexibility.

Real flexibility is the availability of CHOICE, and there is very little of that around currently, because choice is not just a whole load of badly serviced, overpriced "luxury executive studio flats" for £1000 per month but should be a choice of different types of letting, a wide range of tenures and a value for money SERVICE to the tenant who is PAYING for that service.

Blinkered as the British public is, with the ridiculously outmoded concept of "Landlord" and "Tenant" rather than A PROVIDER of a service and a USER of that service, as is well established in more enlightened areas of Europe, it is hard to see how the rental market can ever get on to a civilised footing, however many flats and houses happened to be available.

But in answer to your main point, there are probably a record number of rental properties currently on the market. Yet, they, like houses for sale, are often vastly over-priced and carry with them extremely intrusive "conditions" on the renter. They are however still cheaper than most equivalent for-sale houses in monthly terms and that indicates to me that many thousands of Yuppie BTL's are offloading their "investments" because the whole point of them in the first place was not to supplement their mortgages or make a steady income, but to make a quick killing with property inflation. Up to now the average BTL'er was hardly concerned with actually making that much money in rent alone, since the inflationary target of their "investment" was almost the sole reason for acquiring their "portfollio".

I don't know if it is possible to ascertain precisely how many rental properties are up for grabs, but it is clear by looking at any EA's window that many agents are using BTL's as a substitute for normal work, and they are charging vast sums (usually to the tenant) to do so.

I predict that if anything the rental market will crash more heavily and more suddenly than the rest of the property market, simply because landlords will dump their "portfolios" without any procastination way before they will hand in the keys to their own properties. The rental market will therefore become in essence a dynamic (falling) apocolypse and the market will be flooded with empty, languishing, unlet buildings, initially sat upon by receivers, accountants and building societies and nthen offloaded in a mixture of letting frenzy at knock down prices followed by the inevitable auctions.

The whole mess will be ludicrously inflamed by the still-in-place lack of security with continuing 6 monthly leases.

For examples of civilised landlord and tenant policy which has worked for both sides successfully for many decades, see Germany, Holland and Belgium, where a stable market, decent security of tenure and letting seen as a "service" rather than Rachman versus Chav tenants battles has resulted in a steady and agreeable rental sector.

And we call the UK a "civilised" society. Pah!

VP

I agree that tenants rights are abysmal in this country, but this country has always thrived on exploitation of the weak. But, for young workers uncertain of where they will be working, where they want to live etc. BTL properties are acceptable. There are now too many of them chasing what they all dreamt was their ideal market for all those 2 bed flats - young, affluent types.

I have already viewed in London many properties aimed at this ideal yuppie tenant, which come to be occupied by poor families squeezed into tiny unsuitable spaces. These are the people who 6 month leases are unsuitable for (plus anyone else who prefers to rent and knows where they want to live for the foreseeable future - myself included).

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Surely rental property is generally used more efficiently? Professional landlords usually maximise their income by letting larger houses out by the room or converting them into separate flats or bedsits. Relatively few tenants rent properties that are larger than their needs. By contrast, there are many single owner occupiers who live in two or three bedroom houses. Some owner occupiers own a second holiday home which is empty for most of the year. How many tenants rent two houses at the same time?

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  • 341 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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