How the rented sector has transformed the Falmouth Property Market

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The Falmouth housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the Buy-to-Let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both Falmouth tenants and Falmouth landlords.

A few months ago, the Government released a White Paper on housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the private rental sector played a major part in the future plans for housing. This is especially important for our growing Falmouth population.

In 1981, the population of Cornwall stood at 424,500 and today it stands at 549,400.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 20.8% of households in the town.  The Government wants to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes for those unable to buy their own property. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

67.45% Falmouth people owned their own home in 1981

19.56% Falmouth people rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981

and 13.0% Falmouth rented from a Private Landlord

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place where people want to live. The population of Cornwall is estimated to grow to 636,000 by 2037. It is imperative that Cornwall County Council and Central Government all work actively together to ensure the residential property market encourages the provision of quality homes for all types of residents.

One idea the Government has proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the Build-to-Rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the B-T-L sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘Affordable Private Rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants. In return, the new homebuilders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts, nor offer 3 year tenancies. however it is something that Falmouth landlords need to be aware of as there could be greater competition for tenants.

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. These youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix. Many Falmouth youngsters see that renting more than meets their accommodation needs, as it combines the freedom from a lifetime of property maintenance and financial obligations, making it an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in Falmouth and Cornwall, whether it is B-T-L or B-T-R, has the potential to play a very positive role.

References
1981, 2017 and 2037 population figures are from the Office of national Statistics.

1981 Tenure figures are from the Census.

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