Growth of the Private Rental Sector in Plymouth

The PRS (Private Rental Sector) in the UK has grown considerably in both size and importance over the last five years and is now worth a staggering £1.29 trillion. To contextualise, that is 1.29 million stacks of pound coins, with each stack being a million coins high. The PRS now makes up 18% of the housing stock in England alone and is expected to rise to more than a third by 2032.

Because of this rampant growth, it is no surprise to see that 28.6% of homes in Plymouth are privately rented, which is encouraging for private landlords and would-be investors. Even homeowners have something to think about, as they may be tempted to turn the family home into a source of income, or indeed use their pension pot to become a landlord.

A decade ago, buying a home was a very different experience. Post-credit crunch the landscape in Plymouth has changed, with many younger people unable to buy their own homes due to house price growth outpacing wages. This has made it both logical and practical for many people to rent, choosing between renting privately or using the options available from the local housing association.

10 years ago, of the 61,910 households in Plymouth, around 47,480 were owner-occupied. Today the number of households in Plymouth has risen to 68,270, with the number of owner-occupied properties falling to 47,060. In 2001, only 13,750 properties were rented by private tenants compared to 2011’s figure of 19,530 — an increase of 42.1%.

Long gone are the days when tenants viewed rented accommodation as a stopgap; today many renters are in it for the long haul, often taking initial two-year contracts and sometimes staying for up to five years or longer. While this is ultimately good news for private landlords wanting to minimise void periods, it also means that tenants have higher expectations and are more discerning about their rented homes. They are inclined to pay that little bit extra to get exactly what they desire from a home, and landlords will need to ensure their properties are in the best condition possible if they are going to maximise their return.

There is certainly a benefit for landlords who run their property portfolios as a business; the attention to detail that comes from this approach will help mitigate the expected refurbishment losses from reduced tax relief in the years ahead. The reduction in tax relief from 45% to 20% will affect buy-to-let landlord investors over the next few years and probably put some people off becoming landlords. However, the ones who are savvy and make the most informed decisions will continue to prosper in the PRS.

Looking ahead, we expect the recent changes to stamp duty on second homes to create a small increase in the proportion of owner-occupiers relative to the PRS. But the sky-high level of demand for houses in Plymouth means the capital value of properties is set to remain strong.

If you are interested in purchasing your first, second or umpteenth buy-to-let, please visit our office for a friendly chat so we can give you the inside track and lowdown on being a landlord in Plymouth today.

Long-term property price review in Plymouth

It is the time of year when we can look at how property prices in 2016 fared in comparison to the decade preceding it. With property price data still to come through for the end of the year our estimates paint a promising picture.


Overview of the Plymouth market structure

The total number of property transactions and the mix of properties are strong indicators of the buoyancy of the local property market in the area. The adjacent chart gives an indication of the changing market structure in Plymouth. We estimate that 801 flats, 1815 terraces, 742 semis and 290 detached properties were sold in 2016.


How do residents in Plymouth get to work?

An analysis of commuting preferences in Plymouth shows that the majority of people use a car (64.7%). This is followed by on foot (17.3%), and then bus (12.5%). It will be interesting to monitor how this pattern changes over time given the trend in Plymouth and everywhere else to use more public transport and healthier options.


Lifecycle mix in Plymouth

Where people are in their lifecycles can be a real indicator of the character of the local area. In Plymouth, the lifecycle mix of residents can be split into the following six categories:


Young and Single 27.6%
Young Family 19.2%
Mid-stage Family 13.2%
Mature Family 12.6%
Empty Nesters 8.7%
Retired 18.8%
(Dated January 2017)

Author: Ben Dreher MNAEA

Director at the Plymouth City Office Ben is a Devon boy through and through, spending the last 16 years working in and around Plymouth. With a young family and dog he spends most of his spare time walking on the moors or stunning beaches. Spending many years moving clients in and out of the city and as a commuter himself, Ben has first-hand knowledge of the accessibility of Plymouth and all it has to offer! At the tender age of 14 he undertook work experience at M&B and is a proud part of the modern dynamic company we see today.

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