What does it matter about the Private Rented Housing Sector?

There has been a lot of newspaper ‘column inches’ devoted to the private rented housing sector.  All the focus seems to be about whether a new Government will target private landlords as a means of raising more tax.  The issues for us as Property Consultants are more to consider the market of large investor and developer clients who are looking to increase the exposure to the sector or to take their first steps into it.

Large private rented landlords are nothing new – Grainger PLC are one of the most successful.  This sector is increasing in size though and we need to pay it greater attention – to sell sites, advise on investment strategies and provide the building and planning services that are needed.

Consider this, 10 years ago 10% of Britons lived in privately-rented accommodation, today 18% do.  This is relevant too – in 2003/2004 722,000 households in the private sector claimed housing benefit.  Now 1.7 million households do – that’s 6.5% of all UK households (add the 17% of UK households in Council houses that’s a lot of householders with tax payer assistance).

The dynamics of the housing market are not as simple as some would have you believe but what this does show is that private rented housing stock is very popular (or the only option for some) Tax change in this sector may have a reaching implications but in the meantime we must properly service operators in this valuable sector.