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The Masked Tulip

U.k. Home Rents Increase For Third Straight Quarter, Rics Says

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Seems we are caught in a classic ambush - on one side sellers, backed by low IRs, refusing to drop and not needing to sell... on the other side by rising rents...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-01/u-k-home-rents-increase-for-third-straight-quarter-rics-says.html

U.K. residential rents rose for the third straight quarter as more people chose to become tenants rather than buying properties, according to a gauge published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The number of real estate brokers saying rents increased exceeded those reporting declines by 39 percent in the three months through October, RICS said today. That’s the most since the second quarter of 2007. In the three months through July, 27 percent more brokers reported increases than drops.

U.K. mortgage approvals fell to an eight-month low in October to about half the level they were at the beginning of 2007, according to the Bank of England. Lenders have restricted mortgages for buyers who purchase homes with the intention of renting them out, limiting the properties available to tenants.

“With both buy-to-let and traditional mortgages in short supply and now with concern about prices, people have come back” to the rental market, said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist for RICS. “It’s simple supply and demand, and there is more uncertainty around with people losing jobs in the public sector.”

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Evening standard was doing its bit yesterday.

Woe is me

All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air...

Available. Single female looking to rent room in friendly houseshare. Likes — Hitchcock films and Russian novels. Dislikes — having to spend every spare hour of every day scouring through house-share websites in mounting desperation.

Along with most people in their twenties, unless I strike it lucky on Euromillions I'm not going to be able to buy a place to live in London. I wouldn't even secure a mortgage on a garage space. Or a mooring spot on a canal. Without a bumper inheritance or the bank of Mummy and Daddy, my income is not going to set anything in motion at a mortgage broker — bar an eyebrow raised in derision. Instead, there will be years ahead of paying off someone else's mortgage through renting.

Since relocating to London four years ago, I've moved eight times. Four times in the first year alone, as I struggled to find a job. My longest stay was a 20- month stint in Stepney Green, in a decaying house that had peeling Alpine scene wallpaper and a carpet patterned like a Rubik cube. The bathroom was rotting and the heating broke down in winter, meaning a half-mile walk to the local swimming baths each morning to get a shower before work, but my flatmates were great and it was the best place I've lived in London. Since then I've been to Clapton, Finsbury Park, and Stamford Hill, where I currently lodge with my best mate and her parents. Over the summer they were in America so I was useful as a house-sitter but now I'm feeling like the mad woman who just won't move out of the attic, and am looking for somewhere, anywhere, that seems nice and rents for under £600 a month.

It used to be pretty easy to find a room for that price but as the country languishes in the economic doldrums it's now fraught. Many are finding it impossible to get on to the property ladder so they stay on well into their thirties in the shared houses which they might ordinarily have moved on from. As I was on my way back home from my seventh unsuccessful viewing, waiting for a bus in freezing Whitechapel, my mother came up with the encouraging tale of her work colleagues. One had had to move out of London altogether because, even with two incomes, she and her husband couldn't afford rental prices. Another's sister still has to move flatshares every six months after more than a decade living in the capital.

Nick, the 39-year-old photographer who makes me put my hands on my hips and frown for the photos, has also been through the flatshare mire. Just back from India, he has let his own Shoreditch flat out to tenants and doesn't want to kick them out.

“There's a real shortage of places at the minute,” he tells me. “One place I phoned up in Bethnal Green had been advertised for an hour — 15 people had already called up wanting it. Then there was a flat on Redchurch Street for £700 a month. I liked it — but at the bottom of the email, the woman I would have been sharing with asked me if I'd be able to cook for her twice a week. Then there's the whole speed flatmate thing — which is like speed dating. I dipped my toe in it — I was just defeated by the whole process.”

I started my search on Gumtree. Unfortunately, the website where I once managed to find a place within 24 hours now appears to be overrun with scam artists. A one-bedroom flat just around the corner from Gloucester Road Tube station, for example, was going for £98 a week, with hot water and a parking space included, and a luxury flat was advertised for £115 a week in Holland Park. Contacting the advertisers led to convoluted tales involving the landlord being in America, Belgium or on “crusade” in West Africa. Would it be possible to wire the deposit to a wife in Ireland, who will then arrange delivery of the keys?

After resisting the urge, tempting as it was, to wire hard-earned cash to a hard-faced sc ammer, I switched tack and on the advice of a friend started looking at other sites: easyroommate.com, spareroom.co.uk and moveflat.com. In the past month I've seen seven places and sent emails and left voicemail messages trying to view dozens more.

Being interviewed for a flat is rather like being considered for a job — only it's your personality that's up for scrutiny rather than your employment history. With two dozen people competing with you for one room, how on earth do you make yourself seem nicer or cooler or just generally more endearing than the rest? Should you take cookies along as a bribe? Or wine? Should you be super-keen and enthusiastic — or will they just think you're desperate and demented?

The weirdest thing about viewings is running into your rivals for the room. Viewing a box room in Kensington, there is a girl before me running late. While I am saying hello, she is saying goodbye and fervently telling her interrogators that she wants the room. We glance at one another but try not to make eye contact, like girls who've discovered that they're both trying to date the same guy.

Most places look as if they could turn into great living arrangements and you can see why there are so many people vying to take them. I've only seen one place that I really didn't want to live in — a filthy house in Brixton, about a mile away from the Tube, where I was greeted by a man in his late thirties with a ponytail, in torn tie-dye pyjama bottoms, who had overgrown, yellow toenails.

My brother, who was helping me look that day, mimicked slitting his throat by the time we'd got up the first flight of stairs, having caught Mr Tie-Dye openly leering at the girl just departing. As Loyd Grossman used to say, “Who would live in a house like this?” Someone with a rape alarm.

It's not like I'm looking for an en-suite with a gold towel rail and a view of Kensington Palace. I don't care where I live in London, as long as there is a Zone 2 Tube station within a 15-minute walk, I'm easy — north, south, east or west. I am an equal opportunity property seeker — I don't care about the gender mix. The room doesn't have to be that big (although that would be nice) and it doesn't have to be particularly spruce (as long as it isn't infested with insects). Right now, though, I'm close to giving up. There's only so much rejection a girl can take.

A to Z of Emily's flatshare hunt

Brixton

£530pm

Large house with huge kitchen and garden, plus a living room. An average-sized double bedroom with nice white floorboards. Unfortunately, house rather dirty and flatmates a bit off-putting.

Fulham

£550pcm

This was a great five-strong Aussie/Kiwi flatshare in Fulham found on Gumtree. The house was on a quiet residential street, with nearby gym and shops. The room was small but had a double bed and felt very warm. There was a large living room and a garden. The three flatmates present at the viewing all seemed friendly. I never heard back from them.

Kennington

£480pcm

This was my favourite place — an attic room in Kennington. Around £400, not including bills, the location was great — five minutes from the Northern line, a Tesco around the corner, a bookshop opposite — and it had two great flatmates, a cute Spanish translator and a south London surfer dude. The drawback was you had to get up to the room via a stepladder and, as it was in the eves, you could only stand up in the middle. Scaling a ladder sozzled in stilettos seemed like a recipe for bruises and broken limbs, let alone trying to get out in case of fire.

Kensington

£600pcm

A narrow single room with a single bed. Sharing with three professionals, who all seemed nice — the place boasted beautiful views of a private communal garden, to which the flatmates had a key. Unfortunately, by the time I'd crammed my desk and books and stereo in I wouldn't have had space to clamber into my new little bed. Renting direct from estate agent which meant an extra £200 contract renewal in April.

Kilburn

£450pcm

This small double room was warm and comfortable but, on viewing, my timings also clashed with another wannabe flatmate. As one girl greeted me in the corridor, the others sat in the living room sounding as if they were all getting on like a houseshare on fire. I made my excuses and left. Why try to break up that budding friendship?

Mile End

Approx £540PCM when bills are added

Average-sized house on a lovely residential street, two minutes from Mile End station and opposite a park and leisure facilities. Sharing with a couple and one other. Small room with wardrobe in corridor. Two bathrooms. The flatmates, a postgrad student, a musician and a photographer, seemed very easy to get on with and they gave me wine — alas, I never heard back.

Shepherd's Bush

£715pcm, not including bills

Studio flat in an ex-council block in Shepherd's Bush, had a small kitchenette, a bathroom with a bath, and the room was reasonably sized. However, when totting up council tax, gas, electricity and internet (which I would have to install) this wasn't feasible on my budget.

Edited by The Generation Game

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Love that Standard article - couldn't the poor girl move out to zone 3 or 4. She could rent a flat for those prices - not share one - her tube journey might even be quicker than living in some awful zone 2 crime ridden hell whole (e..g Kilburn or Mile End).

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Love that Standard article - couldn't the poor girl move out to zone 3 or 4. She could rent a flat for those prices - not share one - her tube journey might even be quicker than living in some awful zone 2 crime ridden hell whole (e..g Kilburn or Mile End).

Maybe the commute would cost more? It's not like there is a shortage of people who would go for that arbitrage if it worked.

Still, I am sure she is pleased the limits on LHA won't be implemented for another 9 months longer.

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All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air...

[...]

I don't care where I live in London, as long as there is a Zone 2 Tube station within a 15-minute walk

Says it all. She's a fool, and based on the prices, she's hardly earning enough to be fussy.

Edited by the_duke_of_hazzard

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When I first lived on my own in London, I shared a flat with a 50 year old crane driver in Tooting for 55 quid a week. There was a bullet hole in the window.

Allowing for inflation that would be ca. 500 quid pcm now. That was 10 minutes' walk from a zone 3. The horror. This is a non-story from a spoiled tart.

Edited by the_duke_of_hazzard

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Seems we are caught in a classic ambush - on one side sellers, backed by low IRs, refusing to drop and not needing to sell... on the other side by rising rents...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-01/u-k-home-rents-increase-for-third-straight-quarter-rics-says.html

Custers last stand ,falling house prices will inevitably end in falling rents.

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This will be all over the BBC like a used car salesman trying to meet his targets!

You are dead right there.

I woke up this morning to hear on my radio, a BBC news presenter intrerviewing an estate agent who said rents had "improved" because of lack of supply. :rolleyes:

"Improved" for who?

If they have gone up, I would not count this as an "improvement" for most of the population.

However I don't see rents going up in my part of the world at all.

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Says it all. She's a fool, and based on the prices, she's hardly earning enough to be fussy.

She works, yet her budget only stretches about as far as a benefit claimant's. I think she can probably be allowed to be a little fussy about facing an effective tax rate of close to 100%. Furthermore, anyone in work should be able to be fussy about living somewhere below the 30th percentile of appropriately sized properties, seeing as people who don't work will be able to afford those even after the coming "savage" cuts.

My friends often say I lack empathy, but even I fail to see the point of calling the poor thing a fool, except maybe for bothering to work. She is just one of the numerous working poor, and that is worth a lot more respect in my book than scrounging.

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When I first lived on my own in London, I shared a flat with a 50 year old crane driver in Tooting for 55 quid a week. There was a bullet hole in the window.

Great story, I like it.

When I lived in London I lived in a two bed flat in Gloucester Terrace (z1 I think) and commuted out to Wombledon, by car. Used to take 20 minutes as all the traffic was flowing inwards. Kind of sums up my headmaster's comments about me "always going against the flow".

The landlord offered me the flat for 110K, he was a late 80s BTLer and had got himself into no end of problems and -ve equity. I was sorely tempted as it was a great flat with a balcony in a great location but had just taken on a French property at the time and it would have left me stretched given the 1993 economic outlook.

BTW is a room accessed by a ladder legal to rent out? (see OP).

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Great story, I like it.

When I lived in London I lived in a two bed flat in Gloucester Terrace (z1 I think) and commuted out to Wombledon, by car. Used to take 20 minutes as all the traffic was flowing inwards. Kind of sums up my headmaster's comments about me "always going against the flow".

The landlord offered me the flat for 110K, he was a late 80s BTLer and had got himself into no end of problems and -ve equity. I was sorely tempted as it was a great flat with a balcony in a great location but had just taken on a French property at the time and it would have left me stretched given the 1993 economic outlook.

BTW is a room accessed by a ladder legal to rent out? (see OP).

You were lucky.

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She works, yet her budget only stretches about as far as a benefit claimant's. I think she can probably be allowed to be a little fussy about facing an effective tax rate of close to 100%. Furthermore, anyone in work should be able to be fussy about living somewhere below the 30th percentile of appropriately sized properties, seeing as people who don't work will be able to afford those even after the coming "savage" cuts.

My friends often say I lack empathy, but even I fail to see the point of calling the poor thing a fool, except maybe for bothering to work. She is just one of the numerous working poor, and that is worth a lot more respect in my book than scrounging.

If she'd be better off not working, why doesn't she simply not work?

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Seems we are caught in a classic ambush - on one side sellers, backed by low IRs, refusing to drop and not needing to sell... on the other side by rising rents...

It's precisely what you'd expect in a falling market. Unplannedlords bring decent houses to the rental market, at the same time as people who could afford to buy choose not to. So instead of being [almost] just the ruthless rich exploiting the poor, the rental sector expands to a broader section of the marketplace, and the average moves upwards.

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Evening standard was doing its bit yesterday.

Now that actually looks rather less unpleasant than my experience of London from the 1980s. It's certainly a lot cheaper relative to salaries.

But then, I got out to escape it!

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Though she does come across as slightly ditsy, you're all being rather hard on her. She wants, as generations of young people have before her, to hang out near the bright lights on a budget. It was always difficult, now its impossible. People come to London to find better work which means surviving until you achieve it. That roughing it period has now become a permanent scenario.

I'd get out sharpish and use her ingenuity to better effect than permanent liverbird status. Or hang around city winebars and hope you meet a nice banker.

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Though she does come across as slightly ditsy, you're all being rather hard on her. She wants, as generations of young people have before her, to hang out near the bright lights on a budget. It was always difficult, now its impossible. People come to London to find better work which means surviving until you achieve it. That roughing it period has now become a permanent scenario.

Boll0x. You start poor and in the centre living in hovels, and you move out for more space as you get older richer and fatter if that's your bag. It's never changed. When I started out in London I couldn't hang out near the bright lights so I lived a bit out.

Things were a bit different in the 50s but nobody wanted to live in the centre then because it was genuinely grim and the demographics were markedly different.

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It's precisely what you'd expect in a falling market. Unplannedlords bring decent houses to the rental market, at the same time as people who could afford to buy choose not to. So instead of being [almost] just the ruthless rich exploiting the poor, the rental sector expands to a broader section of the marketplace, and the average moves upwards.

I reckon you've hit the nail on the head there as that actually makes sense!

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If she'd be better off not working, why doesn't she simply not work?

Do you doubt that even a childless claimant below 35 (or whatever the limit is nowadays) can afford the very same sort of accommodation that she wants to live in?

Maybe she hopes to eventually earn enough that she will be better off than a scrounger would, or maybe she just wants to pay her own way. There are many people just like her with no money left at the end of the month and only a modest lifestyle to show for working. I once vaguely knew a low-level IT guy at the uni who was in a similar situation. He had a full-time job but simply could not afford to live on his own on the salary he had. He was probably old enough to be given a free self-contained flat if he didn't work. He probably still had the option of asking for LHA, but I assume he then would not have enough money to live on. He was rather embarrassed whenever the topic came up, so I never found out the details. Listening between the lines, he was hoping to get a council flat. More senior IT people could afford somewhere acceptable to live as far as I know, though that was before the boom got properly going. Nowadays it's a longish commute for everyone including the academics, or maybe a nearby cosmopolitan cesspit where I would be genuinely afraid to walk at night and where a terraced house without reserved parking but with a staircase barely wide enough for one person still costs over 250k (to be fair, many people tell me it's not so bad and I am being paranoid). Actually, they also have a choice of several nearby areas that flood :-)

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Expensive rents are pushing a lot of people I know into wanting to buy.

But with prices falling (have to convince them of that) only one sees that they're saving money renting - even if rents are sky high right now. Dire either way.

Worst off all is for those unemployed like some of my relatives. Good people with skills but no jobs, sinking into benefits dependency and god knows what will happen to them in future. One is now pregnant and has no real connection with the world now, if you know what I mean. I think she sees her situation as 'just how it is' and is happy to apply for a council house. To be honest even I thought about what benefits I'm entitled to tonight (none.... lol...) and what I would be entitled to if I cut my hours etc. But I will keep ploughing away in hope of lower prices.

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  • 284 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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