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Nearly half of all flat sharers currently looking for a room in Britain are foreign, according to new figures released today.
The survey, carried out by flat sharing website Easyroommate, revealed just under 50 per cent of the respondents categorise themselves as ‘not British’, with the majority indicating they are European (33 per cent), closely followed by Afro-Caribbeans, who accounted for 3 per cent.
Indians and Pakistanis made up for 2 per cent of flat sharers, while Americans and Canadians made up for 2 per cent of flat sharers. The remaining 55 per cent of respondents selected British as their nationality.
Easyroommate suggests the large numbers of foreign individuals currently based in Britain is due to the economic instability in other countries.
It explained the lack of jobs and career prospects in these areas drives people to look for opportunities elsewhere.
It added that moving to a new country can be extremely costly – and that this explains why foreign nationals who are looking for cost effective alternatives, such as flatsharing for cheaper accommodation.
Of the individuals surveyed, a large number prefer to flat share with Britains.
Maya Harruna, of Easyroommrate, said: “It’s not surprising to see that Brits are the most desired housemates. British flat sharers prefer being able to communicate fluently with the people that they live with, while people who have recently moved to the UK prefer to live with someone who speaks fluent English, as it gives them the opportunity to improve their language.”
Rents are expected to rise at below the rate of inflation during the coming year despite tenant demand remaining strong, research showed today.
Landlords estimate rents will edge up by an average of 1.8 per cent in the next 12 months, below both the Bank of England’s inflation target of 2 per cent and the current annual rate at which rents are rising of 2.4 per cent.
The majority of landlords said they did not plan to hike their rents at all during the coming year, with only 43 per cent saying they would increase them, according to letting agency network Your Move and Reed Rains.
Among those who do plan an increase, 57 per cent said they were hiking them to cover the cost of inflation, while 31 per cent said it was to pay for maintenance work.
Four out of 10 landlords said they had seen an increase in demand to rent a home during the past six months, and nearly two-thirds expect this trend to continue going forward.
The rise fed through to a 6.9 per cent jump in new tenancies agreed in August compared with a year earlier.
It also helped to reduce average void periods between tenants, and led to 18 per cent of landlords adding to their portfolio of rental properties.
A further 21 per cent of landlords think now is a good time to invest in a buy-to-let property, with 55 per cent attributing their confidence to strong tenant demand, while 54 per cent cited attractive property prices and 45 per cent said property provided better capital returns than other investments.
David Newnes, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains, said:“Demand for rented accommodation is climbing, and there’s little sign of this stopping.
“While Help to Buy and higher loan-to-value lending are enabling first-time buyer activity, strong house price growth this year has lifted home ownership a few steps out of reach for many, and the private rented sector remains the safety net supporting those still saving for a deposit.
“This demand is also powering more supply. Secure house prices and spirited tenant demand are encouraging budding buy-to-let investors and existing landlords to add to the number of available homes to let.”
But landlords were less upbeat about the mortgage market, with 42 per cent who had tried to take out a mortgage during the past 12 months saying they had found it more difficult than a year ago.
The figure was up from 35 per cent in January, highlighting the impact of the tighter lending environment.
A further 39 per cent of landlords said buy-to-let mortgage repayments had become more expensive in the past 12 months.
Even so, one in 10 landlords cited cheap mortgage finance as a key reason why it was a good time to invest in a buy-to-let property, although the figure was down from 17 per cent in January.
Today’s figures come after letting agency chain Sequence said there were nearly seven would-be tenants chasing every available property as demand to rent soared by 17 per cent in the year to the end of August.
People wanting to rent a home face fierce competition from other tenants as demand increases but the supply of properties to let falls, research showed today.
Around 68 per cent of letting agents reported seeing more people wanting to rent than there were properties available during the third quarter, according to the Association of Residential Letting Agents.
It is the third consecutive quarter that the number of agents reporting a mismatch between supply and demand has increased.
The situation has been exacerbated by a fall in the number of homes available on the private rental market.
ARLA members reported a 6 per cent drop in the number of managed investment properties they had on their books during the three months to the end of September, with agencies managing an average of 135 properties, down from 143.
The shortage of rental properties looks set to get worse going forward as recent house price gains tempt landlords to cash in their portfolios.
Nearly a third of landlords said they were selling a property, up from 27 per cent in the previous quarter.
At the same time, the number of landlords buying more properties fell by 8 percentage points to 27 per cent.
As a result, there were more landlords selling properties than those who were expanding their portfolios for the first time in four years.
The situation in the rental market mirrors that in the wider housing market, where the number of people looking to buy a home has fallen as more properties have been put up for sale.
David Cox, managing director at ARLA, said: “This quarter, we have seen demand for properties in the rental sector significantly rise, while the supply of residential rental properties has dropped.
“This activity has bucked the seasonal trend recorded over the past 11 years for this quarter, in which we normally see an increase in the number of new tenancies signed up.
“However, with landlords not investing in new buy-to-let property, tenants are finding it increasingly difficult to secure contracts.”
But some agents reported that a number of buy-to-let properties that landlords had tried to sell had come back on to the rental market after they had failed to find a buyer.
Meanwhile, the number of tenants who asked for references on their future landlords from a lender increased by 2 percentage points during the month to 9 per cent.
Cox said: “It’s great to see an increase in consumers making an active play to check that their landlords are financially viable.
“Renting a property and laying out considerable finances is a big commitment, and it is important that consumers ensure they are protected.”
Filming has begun for a new series of the controversial reality TV show Benefits Street. But this time, it is set in a new location.
The Chanel 4 programme made a huge impact in its first series as it followed a close-knit community where many of the residents were on benefits.
It proved to be addictive viewing despite complaints that the participants were being exploited and the show was nothing more than ‘poverty porn’.
Its popularity made a star of Deirdre Kelly, better known as White Dee, who is currently appearing in Celebrity Big Brother.
The first series was filmed in James Turner Street in an area of Birmingham known as Winson Green.
And now the location of the second series has been unveiled as a street in Teeside.
It is Kingston Road in Stockton, which was once reported as being among the ‘most deprived’ streets in the country.
It compares to an average property value of almost £150,000 in Stockton-on-Tees, where prices have risen more than £5,000 during the past year.
The highest value street in the area is Aislaby Road where the average value of a home is £558,534, while the highest turnover is in Grey Street and Fairdene Avenue.
Bank Holidays are traditionally a time to get out the hammer and nails to address some of those DIY projects that have been put on the back burner. But homeowners are being urged to take care as the number of accidental claims hits 30,000, with each claim costing £339, according to new research.
DIY skills are particularly low among the younger generation, according to the survey by insurers Halifax. It suggested more than half of over 55 year olds are confident they can put up wallpaper, while only 28 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds feel confident about doing so.
At the same time, more than eight out of 10 older people said they can paint, while just over six out of 10 under 24 year olds feel able to use a decorating brush.
Martyn Foulds, senior claims manager at Halifax, said: “It seems that DIY skills are fading with each generation, which is a worry as home improvements can easily go wrong for those who don’t know what they are doing.
“We’d recommend homeowners check they have the right tools for the job, avoid taking on too much and call a qualified tradesman for gas and electrical work.”
Last year, Halifax recorded more than 32,000 accidental damage claims, while more than £1m was paid out in such claims in August alone. In total, the insurer paid out more than £11m for such claims last year, with each costing an average of £339.
The survey suggests almost a quarter of people asked their parents for help with home improvement jobs.
Top DIY tips from Halifax:
- Preparation is key – make sure you have all the correct tools and equipment for the job before you start to avoid coming unstuck later
- Plan a budget beforehand and stick to it
- Call a professional for jobs involving gas, electrical or plumbing work. When choosing a tradesman, ask for references and certificates to demonstrate that they are competent
- Contact your insurer if any work is being carried out which may alter the structure or layout of the home such as an extension or garage, etc
- For major building works, you may need to seek planning permission