BBC News featured a story today about an Oxford University academic who can no longer afford to rent in the city and plans to commute by plane and train from her parents' home in Dublin. Finders Keepers Associate Director, Douglas Lloyd, was contacted by BBC Oxford to comment on Oxfordshire’s rental market:
“I totally sympathise with tenants. Oxford has always been a relatively expensive place to live and, of course, there are further financial pressures on us all due to the cost of living. Demand for quality rental property in Oxford has always been high.
At Finders Keepers we’ve seen about a 10% increase in demand so far this year compared to last year. I think as a result of interest rate hikes, and the cost of borrowing, there are people looking to rent in Oxfordshire who would ordinarily choose to buy. The situation is further compounded by a reduction in the number of properties available to rent.
We’ve also witnessed an increase in landlords exiting the market, over the past couple of years, potentially due to increased financial pressures and recent and upcoming legislation. So we’ve ended up in a position where demand is up and there are just not enough properties available to rent.
That being said, according to the property website, Zoopla, for the first time in 13 years, paying rent in the South East is cheaper than repaying a mortgage for first-time buyers.”
He continued, “The main issue is just the lack of properties, so there could be numerous potential tenants for any single property. It’s really a case of tenants making contact directly with the agent rather than going through third party websites to make sure that they’re at the top of the list when another property becomes available.
The market is constantly changing, but the main cause of the current issue is the situation we’ve got with interest rates. As interest rates start to decline, I would expect to see some more stability within the market and therefore rents should potentially a level out. This should result in more stock availability and a bit more choice for tenants.”
If you would like to speak about the letting market in your region of Oxfordshire, contact your local Finders Keepers office.
Published 7th September 2023