A Chelmsford man’s home ..is his semi… or terraced… or his bungalow…


Ok, a slight turn of phrase there on the classic, ‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’, but when it comes to the UK,  the Brit’s are still a nation of homeowners.

It is interesting to note that up until the mid to late 1960’s, more people rented their home, albeit mostly from the local council, than owned their own property. In fact, I was surprised to read that in 1921, over 75% of homes in England and Wales were privately rented with the remaining 25% being owner occupied.

 It was only after the Second World War, when the Beatles were rocking, that people started to buy instead of rent, but instead of owning our property outright, we borrowed money from banks and building society’s to buy them and the roots of the growth of the private rental sector can be drawn back to the late 1970’s early 1980’s, when the council houses began to be sold off under the right to buy scheme.

Even though 64,564 households in Chelmsford were owner occupied in 2001 and that number had increased to 69,667 households by 2011, the percentage of homeowner properties in Chelmsford dropped drastically from 78.6% to 73.1%. Why, because whilst an additional 5,103 properties were built in Chelmsford between 2001 and 2011, a lot of them were bought as buy to let investments, nearly doubling the number of private rental properties in Chelmsford. In fact, the number of properties in Chelmsford that were privately rented jumped from 4,350 in 2001 to 8,349 in 2011!

With stagnation in the number of people who own their home in Chelmsford, this is increasing the number of people looking to renting, as everyone needs a roof over their head.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom in Chelmsford, as we have noticed more and more of the younger generation are renting, largely because they can‘t afford to buy – raising a deposit being the sticking point for most. Also, a high percentage of the expansion in private renting is due to those who need and want temporary accommodation. There are even a few landlords who rent their own Chelmsford property out for the short term, for ease, and not necessarily purely for profit.

Therefore, with every report stating the rental market will continue to grow throughout the rest of this decade, with high demand and limited supply in the Chelmsford, if you are considering buying a property for investment in the near future in Chelmsford, I am always happy to give you my considered opinion on which property to buy (or not as the case may be) to give you what you want from your investment. If you are a landlord, new or old, I am certainly more than happy for you to pick up the phone or visit me at our office on Duke Street!

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