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Cigarettes, cars and uni fees – the only things to outstrip rental growth this Millennium

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Rental price growth has outstripped many of life’s day-to-day costs, like bread, eggs and fuel, research from online letting agent Howsy has revealed. 

The cost of renting a property in England has increased from an average price of £344 in the year 2000 to £858 in 2019, a 150% increase in just shy of 20 years. 

In comparison, the cost of milk has risen by just 29% to 44p per pint over the same time period.

Similarly, eggs per dozen are 42% more expensive, fuel per litre has risen by 59% to £1.27, while McDonald’s Big Macs have risen by 63% to £3.09.

The average price of draught beer per pint has increased by 82% to £3.64.

Bread (per white loaf sliced) has seen a significant price increase of 104% to £1.06, though it’s still less of a hike than with the private rental sector.

Cigarettes and cars outstrip rental growth

While the cost of renting has risen significantly, it’s still been hiked by a lower percentage than cigarettes. A pack of 20 is now 162% more expensive than in 2000, costing £10.23, up from £3.91. 

Buying a brand new car is now 163% more pricey, rising from £12,780 in 2000 in £33,559 in 2019. 

Trumping all these costs is university tuition fees per year, which thanks to government measures are 825% more expensive than in 2000, rising from £1,000 to £9,250. 

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented:  

“It will come as little surprise that rents have risen at a faster rate than many of life’s other essential outgoing costs since the turn of the Millennium.

“This is largely due to the ever-increasing levels of tenant demand within the sector and a stagnant level of homes to accommodate this demand, which has resulted in a substantial hike in the cost of renting.  

As a result, people are now spending a greater proportion of their income on rent when compared to other essentials like food or fuel. If you rent, smoke, went to university and need a car, then you’re really up against it financially.”

Property

Cost of maintaining a buy-to-let hits £12k a year in parts of the UK

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Leading property management platform, Howsy, has looked at the cost of maintaining a buy-to-let property each year and how this varies across the UK.  

Buy-to-let can be a tricky business if you don’t tackle it properly and there are a whole host of costs that can trip up the amateur investor. From the more obvious additional three percent stamp duty tax, to various other tax implications, void periods, mortgage costs, agency fees, the cost of finding a tenant, and more, Howsy’s previous research shows the average buy-to-let brings an annual return of just £2,000.

With the Government’s continued attack on UK landlords, making the most out of your investment financially can be tough and even when you consider all financial commitments for a property, many can still be caught unaware by out of the blue maintenance and repair costs. 

Buy-to-let landlords should squirrel away savings in anticipation of these events and an industry rule of thumb is an annual budget equivalent to 1% of your property’s value. 

So what does that equate to?  

Across the UK landlords should be tucking away an annual budget of £2,344 to cover repairs and maintenance, with this rising to £4,746 in London, with the North East home to the lowest repair costs at just £1,328. 

Of course, markets with higher rent returns may seem promising from an investment standpoint but the higher the reward, the higher the cost when things do go wrong. In Kensington and Chelsea, this annual 1% saving climbs to an eye-watering £12,292, hitting nearly £9,000 in both the Cities of London and Westminster.  

Outside of London, South Bucks and Elmbridge are home to the most expensive buy-to-let maintenance costs at £6,091 and £6,019 respectively.

Head to the likes of Burnley or Blaenau Gwent however, and this yearly maintenance budget drops to less than £1,000 a year.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: 

“The buy-to-let sector can be a minefield for the amateur investor and now more than ever, it’s imperative that you do everything you can to maximise the return on your investment.

While technology now allows a greater level of control and service when managing your investment at a lower cost via online platforms, it isn’t just about the financial side of things. Providing a fit for purpose property is not only a legal requirement but essential to ensure a happy tenancy and a reduction in void periods.

Of course, things can go wrong and having the budget available to fix them is a must. In the worst-case scenarios, a cash pot equal to one percent of your property’s value might not be sufficient, but it should cover you for most eventualities and is a good benchmark to start on.

As with all buy-to-let investments, good preparation, organisation, and education are key, and whether you go it alone or have a great management agent if you stay on top of things, a bricks and mortar investment is still one of the best you can make.” 

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