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ftb_fml

Rental prices falling on Oxford

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After having been on the market for around 10 months our (non-BTL) rented flat sold earlier in the year (having been reduced twice by £20k total on the asking, plus I'd guess a bit more through haggling) meaning we were out on our arses.

In the two-month scramble to find an alternative we waded through much tiny, mouldy, delapidated and over-priced dross.. the situation getting quite desperate towards the end.

While I would have been appeased by another half-decent (and cheap as possible) one bed flat, the ever-idealistic Mrs booked us in to view an £1100pcm unfurnished two-bed house. The property had already been reduced once (not sure from how much - perhaps £1150) and was stood empty when we initially viewed around a month before our tenency termination date. I'm not sure if the previous tenant was still paying rent or whether it was void - I suspect the latter given the agent's enthusiasm to get us signed up.

We told them that nice as it was, it was too expensive.. the agent stressed that they were "open to negotiation" but we didn't bother. Some time later we viewed a grottly little £950pcm one-bed flat with the same agent who collared us about failing to contact him to haggle regarding the last house... while he was alright personally their fees were extortionate (50% of a month's rent plus VAT - £660 on the house at the asking) so I stuck the boot in and said we'd consider it at £950pcm if the fees were halved.

The landlord was consulted and would apparently only go as low as £1050, so we passed it over. A week later we got a call from the agent stating that the LL had dropped the price to £995.. when asked about the fees the agent had conveniently forgotten, but eventually agreed to drop them to £400 inc. VAT - still extortionate but 1/3rd less than they would have been.

Getting increasingly desperate ourselves we snapped it up for what seemed like a pretty decent price (having seen many one-bed flats advertised for this). According to the agents (after we'd paid the holding fee) they got a lot of interest after the price had been dropped, so a grand or thereabouts appears to be about the "right" price in this market. 

 

We also looked at a nice (but small / 44m^2 and electrically-heated) furnished flat nearby, on at £1025pcm(!). During viewing I suggested that our max budget was £950 and had a bit of a pop at the agent for their fees of  £300+VAT (+probably some more hidden costs). I was told that the fees were fixed and that the property was currently on at £995pcm, which the landlady might lower herself to accepting if it didn't move. I felt the entitlement was strong with this one.. and we walked away.

Over a month later and it's still on the market, now at £975pcm with the agency fee cut in two. It's available from the 24th so only 9 days away from being void, after which time it'll be losing the greedy cow in a day more than she tried to hike the rent by per month. While admittedly there will always be some demand from people who need to move ASAP, I think most have a month or two in hand so I suspect her chances of finding someone to take the tenancy from the date it becomes available is extremely slim.. will be watching this one with interest :D

As a bit of extra information the flat above it (near identical but lacking the garden access) was on for £925pcm and has been let, while another in the same block has come onto the market today at £250k.

 

So there we go - one house that apparently stood empty for at least a month and took maybe a 15% fall in rental price and a 33% cut in agency fees to get shifted, plus a flat that's on at £20 less than last year with half price agency fees, and even if the price is slashed further it looks likely that it'll remain void for a period of time. I reckon it'll be down to at least £950 before it goes - pretty much what we offered for it and £45pcm / circa 5% less than it was netting the owner last year.

Based on this small example things certainly aren't looking too rosey the landlords of Oxford!

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Gah.. no matter how many times I proof read it there's always at least one spelling / typing mistake that slips through!

The title should obviously read "rental prices falling in Oxford" :rolleyes:

Mods - are there any hoops I need to jump through to allow me the ability to edit my posts please? I can't seem to post in the "upgrade requests" sub and notice there have been no new posts in there for over a year...

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Clearly nobody's bothered, however FWIW the unleased flat remains on the market at £975pcm, however it looks like the half price fees have gone in favour of "new carpets".. personally I'd rather have saved £180's worth of bullsh*t charges, but hey ho..

Tomorrow that makes a full week's void so should have lost the landlady a couple of hundred quid already.. really surprised they've not dropped it further tbh - will be interesting to see how long this one sticks around for!

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39 minutes ago, ftb_fml said:

Clearly nobody's bothered, however FWIW the unleased flat remains on the market at £975pcm, however it looks like the half price fees have gone in favour of "new carpets".. personally I'd rather have saved £180's worth of bullsh*t charges, but hey ho..

Anything but drop the rent. Evidence they are deluded perhaps. Keep spending on it with the pretense of getting that rent and they might make it nice for someone else if they eventually have to sell it. The more they keep that up the more apparent.

Any idea if the LL is a debtor on the flat?

Best of luck.

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1 hour ago, Arpeggio said:

Anything but drop the rent. Evidence they are deluded perhaps. Keep spending on it with the pretense of getting that rent and they might make it nice for someone else if they eventually have to sell it. The more they keep that up the more apparent.

Any idea if the LL is a debtor on the flat?

Best of luck.

Thanks - IMO failing to drop the rent further since it's gone void does seem a bit delusional, but who's to say what the LL's mindset is.. unfortunately I know nothing of their finance situation either.

Obviously a void's less of an issue if the property has been bought outright primarily as a long-game asset investment - perhaps their failure to drop the rent futher suggests a lack of necessity to keep cash flowing into the bank's coffers.

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No doubt their friends will have told them it's quiet in the summer. 'There'll soon be some students starting after the summer break ready to  snap up the bargain.' ??

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22 hours ago, ftb_fml said:

Oh, also the flat in the same complex went to SSTC quite quickly which I found surprising given that it's tiny and about 3 miles from the city centre. Will be interesting to see if the sale completes, and if so for how much.

Wow! A quarter of a million for a one-bed flat a long way from the middle of town.

Thank you for keeping us updated, by the way: Oxford and Cambridge must be the most expensive provincial cities by a large margin, and get attributed the argument that "people will always want to live there", so falls are quite significant, I think.

On 15/07/2017 at 0:10 PM, ftb_fml said:

are there any hoops I need to jump through to allow me the ability to edit my posts please? I can't seem to post in the "upgrade requests" sub and notice there have been no new posts in there for over a year...

I noticed the same thing about the upgrade thread. I also used to find that my posts wouldn't appear for an hour or two, which was annoying when trying to participate in a conversation, but this seemed to go away after I got to 100; and I think I got rights to edit my own posts at that point too. I was waiting for more benefits of higher post-counts to kick in automatically, but when I got to 200, I just wrote to the mods directly asking if I could have an upgrade so I could use an avatar picture, and they were kind enough to do that immediately. I think pictures add a lot to the life of a forum (most people choose or draw them rather revealingly), and should really be allowed immediately.

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On 31/07/2017 at 8:10 AM, Beaker said:

No doubt their friends will have told them it's quiet in the summer. 'There'll soon be some students starting after the summer break ready to  snap up the bargain.' ??

Yeah.. to be fair the flat was pulled from RM about 10 days after it apprently went void, although of course that only means that they got someone on the hook, not that it's been let immediately. I'd guess it's most likely been let to a "professional" since nobody like letting to students and west Oxford is about as un-studenty as you'll find in the city.

I hope they got caned on price and the new tenant isn't moving in for another six weeks :P

 

On 31/07/2017 at 6:39 PM, Toast said:

Wow! A quarter of a million for a one-bed flat a long way from the middle of town.

Thank you for keeping us updated, by the way: Oxford and Cambridge must be the most expensive provincial cities by a large margin, and get attributed the argument that "people will always want to live there", so falls are quite significant, I think.

I noticed the same thing about the upgrade thread. I also used to find that my posts wouldn't appear for an hour or two, which was annoying when trying to participate in a conversation, but this seemed to go away after I got to 100; and I think I got rights to edit my own posts at that point too. I was waiting for more benefits of higher post-counts to kick in automatically, but when I got to 200, I just wrote to the mods directly asking if I could have an upgrade so I could use an avatar picture, and they were kind enough to do that immediately. I think pictures add a lot to the life of a forum (most people choose or draw them rather revealingly), and should really be allowed immediately.

Yup, horrific isn't it? I did a bit of google-mapping and it's not quite as far out as I'd first speculated at about 2 miles - so a 40 minute walk into the city centre.

While on the ground there's definite anecdotal evidence of both rental and purchase prices falling, according to Hometrack there's still growth; just at a much slower rate (around 2.5% YoY) than it once was. I'm hoping that the natural lull running into winter will compound the situation and hopefully bring about some actual falls.

Thanks for the heads up about the upgrade - I'll hold out for 100 posts and try not to flood the forum with spam to speed the process up :P

I agree about avatars - I tend to identify members more by them than their forum names.. I think I have something suitable for when the time comes!

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