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Flood risk is dampening rental growth as tenants opt for higher ground



Areas, where flooding is more likely to happen, have seen lower rental growth in the past five years, analysis from landlord letting agency Bunk shows.

Bunk looked at areas with a high to medium risk of flooding and how rental growth compares across these areas depending on the severity of the flood risk.

Between 2014 and 2019 areas where more than 30% of postcodes were at a high risk of flooding saw rental growth of 10.71%.

This compares to 12.75% in areas where 20-30% of postcodes are high risk, and 15.26% between 10-20%.

Halifax and Canterbury see low five-year rental growth

With 38.55% of its postcodes being at high risk of flooding, rents in Halifax increased by just 0.78% in the past two years and 1.78% in the past five.

In Canterbury, where 39.93% postcodes are at a high risk of flooding, rental growth has been slow in the past five years at 2.34%. However, they seem to be bouncing back, rising by 8.31% in the past two.

On average, UK rents rose by 11.86% between 2014 and 2019 and 3.54% between 2017 and 2019 – so both Halifax and Canterbury are lagging behind the average in the past five years.

Cambridge and Newcastle on the rise despite the risks

Some areas are seeing very strong rental growth despite flood risks.

Cambridge, for example, saw rental growth of 9.08% in the past two years and a massive 31.16% between 2014 and 2019. 

This is despite having 36.73% of its postcodes in high flood risk areas, as well as 39.90% in medium flood risk areas.

It’s a similar story in Newcastle, where 25.93% of postcodes are at a high risk of flooding.

While rents have grown by a steady 5.91% between 2017 and 2019, in the past five years they’ve soared by 30.60%.

Co-founder of Bunk, Tom Woollard, commented:

“When investing in property you need to do your homework on the area as a whole and not just the local property market. While nature can be unpredictable, buying in an area with a known risk such as flooding can see your financial return wash down the drain as you spend thousands on repairing your property and getting it back to a state that is fit for purpose in the rental market.

Of course, with risk often comes reward and while there is a notable correlation between the risk of flooding and a lower level of rental growth, investing in an area with high tenant demand, such as Cambridge, can still prove lucrative.”

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Modern-day amenities show London new build price premium is worth every penny



London’s new build sector is continuing to evolve to offer more in-house services and amenities to the capital’s buyers in an attempt to battle Brexit uncertainty and beat the competition. But with the higher purchase price compared to existing stock in the market, are these added extras worth the money? Research by new build specialists, Stone Real Estate, has taken a look.  

Stone Real Estate looked at the annual cost of eight of the most common and sought after new build amenities regularly included in London developments today, and how this cost stacks up compared to the difference in price between the average new build property and the average cost of existing stock.

According to the latest Land Registry data, the gulf between new builds and existing homes in London is currently £26,691.

Are they worth an additional £27k? Well, many new builds developments now come with a resident’s lounge and while London is home to some very expensive spaces to work and relax, even the most affordable private members club will set you back £150 a year.  

It’s becoming more common that new build developments in the capital now offer free Wifi, an amenity in constant use in this day and age and a cost that would otherwise cost you £376 a year.

Whether you use it regularly or kid yourself and only use it once a week, a free to use gym in your new build development can save you as much as £462 in membership fees over the space of a year.

While you may use them far less regularly, paying for your own concierge service for just one hour a week would cost £472 a year, while going to the cinema just once a week would cost £600 a year. Even the cost of paying for additional storage that now comes as standard with many new builds could total £692 a year. 

Perhaps the two most sought after and expensive amenities included in today’s new builds are a creche and a parking space and it’s easy to see why as paying for this separately can cost over £2,000 a year each.  

All in all, just the cost of these eight services and amenities can total more than £7,000 a year! 

Based on the cost of the average London new build, it would take new build homebuyers in the capital just 3.8 years to recoup the difference in house prices through the use of the additional amenities a development might offer.

This, of course, varies across London, and while it would take almost 20 years in Redbridge, it would take less than a year in Southwark or Wandsworth, and in fact, there are a total of 14 London boroughs where the average new build house price is lower than existing stock and so buyers are benefiting from this value straight off the bat.  

Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate, Michael Stone, commented: 

“Buying new isn’t just beneficial in terms of the standard of home your buying, which in itself is arguably worth the premium, it’s also about the wide range of benefits that now come with a modern-day development.  

While not every development will offer the same incentives, they will all include additional draws above and beyond the property itself that enhance the life of a London home buyer in some shape or form. It can be as simple as a transactional incentive such as paid stamp duty, or a lifestyle benefit like a free on-site gym, creche or even a more traditional benefit such as a parking space.

Some of these benefits may sound insignificant in terms of cost, but once you start to add them all up, your paying quite a substantial amount of money and so to have these already taken care of under one roof is something that buyers really go for in today’s market. After all, it’s not just about cost-saving, but convenience and ease of lifestyle as well.” 

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