The next five years will see an interesting change in the Sawbridgeworth property market. My recent research has concluded that the rent private tenants pay in Sawbridgeworth will rise faster than Sawbridgeworth property prices over the next five years, creating further issues to Sawbridgeworth’s growing multitude of renters. In fact, my examination of statistics forecasts that..

By 2022, Sawbridgeworth rents will increase by 24%, whereas Sawbridgeworth property values will only grow by 18%.

Let me explain why I have come to those conclusions:

Over the last five years, property values in Sawbridgeworth have risen by 51.2%, whilst rents have only risen by 18.6%.

Throughout the last few years, and compounded in 2016, tenant demand for rental properties continued to go up whilst the Press predicted some landlords expect to reduce their portfolios in the next couple of years, meaning Sawbridgeworth tenants will have fewer properties to choose from, which will push rents higher. In fact, talking to fellow property professionals in Sawbridgeworth, there appears to be privation and shortage of new rental properties coming on to the Sawbridgeworth lettings market.

Landlords have some intriguing challenges ahead of them in the coming years most notably in that the Tory’s have changed the taxation rules for landlords in the way buy to let properties are to be taxed. On top of that, there is the ban on letting agent fees which is still to come into force (probably in 2018). When that happened in Scotland in 2012, Scottish letting agents passed on those fees to their landlords, who in turn increased the rent they charged to their tenants.

All I would say to Theresa May and Philip Hammond is that they must be wary about indicating both red and green lights at the same time to the private rented sector. They can’t expect the armies of small private landlords to continue to house around a fifth of the population and then tax the hell out of them. They didn’t invest in buy to let as a charity or to satisfy any philanthropic urges. Something has to give – and that will be significant rent rises over the coming few years (and before anyone gives me any derogatory comments about landlords … if it wasn’t for landlords buying all these buy to let properties over the last 15 years, I am not sure where everyone would be living today – because most the Council houses were sold off in the 1980’s!).

With the challenges ahead, with the ‘B’ word (that’s budget if you wondered!), house price inflation will be tempered over the coming five years in Sawbridgeworth. As I have discussed in previous articles, the number of properties on the market in Sawbridgeworth remains close to historic lows, which is both good as it keeps houses prices relatively stable, yet not so good as it impedes choice for buyers… and hence why I believe property values in Sawbridgeworth will only be 18% higher in five years’ time.

Whilst on the other side of the coin, with the challenges facing landlords and the significant shortage of new homes being built, Sawbridgeworth people still need somewhere to live. If those people aren’t buying houses and the local authority aren’t building council houses in there thousands (because they have no money), with the average rent for a Sawbridgeworth rental property currently standing at £1,034 per month…

Over the next five years, I predict the average rent in Sawbridgeworth will rise to £1,282 per month…

These are interesting times. There is still money to be made in buy to let in Sawbridgeworth – Sawbridgeworth landlords will just need to be smarter and more savvy with their investments.

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