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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.


Frank Webster on BBC Oxford – June


On Thursday 9th June, Frank made his monthly appearance on Phil Mercer’s show on BBC Oxford.  They discussed:

  • Interest rates held at 0.5% for the 27th month. This could be seen as good news but also bad news as it will have to change at some point in the future. We think that mortgage rates will stay the same for the time being, but inflation pressures could change that in due course. We’ll have to see what happens.
  • Has the ‘Spring boom’ in sales continued? From what I gather from our friends in the estate agency world, they are seeing quite an active market. What I hear is that quite a lot of people are viewing a lot of properties, but they’re not really committing. It’s quite hard work for estate agents at the minute, and I think this is all linked to this uncertainty. We’re seeing this switch across to what they are calling the generation of renting.
  • Does the latest RICS report about rents increasing match your experiences? Yes, we’re seeing increases in rents because of this switch and push towards looking to rent. This year, across our offices, we’ve seen about a 4% increase, which is sort of in line with inflation. In certain parts of Oxford city you’ll see higher increases – in Central Oxford (OX1 postcodes) we’re seeing 5.5% increases.
  • Is there a ceiling to these increases? Absolutely, and we mustn’t get carried away – these figures are accurate now, but in six months time things might be a little bit different. We’ve heard recently that utility prices might increase by as much as 19%, and all these things come in to the mix.
  • There are many articles about us becoming a nation of renters. Will buying become a thing of the past? It does look like we’re going that way. These things can be over-analysed and it can be a bit confusing. As mortgage rates go up and it’s difficult for people to get a deposit together to buy a property, we are seeing many more people renting through necessity – certainly in the age category 21-35. I have read that 38 is the painful birthday when perhaps you’ve got the deposit together and you can come out of the rental sector.

Listen to the 5-minute chat on the iPlayer anytime until 16th June (Frank was on approximately 16 minutes in to the show).