Brits have a one in six chance of securing a rented room in Britain!
On the hunt for a room to rent in Britain? The flatshare index published today by EasyRoommate suggests it could be luck of the draw when it comes to snagging a spot. Supply and demand imbalance has made UK cities full to the brim. It has also made rented rooms one of the hottest commodities on the property market with eight out of ten flatsharers now prepared to go beyond their monthly budget to secure their dream room.
- Eight in ten flatsharers prepared to ‘up’ their budget to get their dream room, while a third of landlords won’t budge on price.
- Edinburgh toughest place to find a room followed by Glasgow, London and Manchester
Rental rat race
Most recent data spanning the last three years shows the average number of room hunters across Britain surged by 50% and there were six seekers to every available room with Edinburgh taking the title for the toughest flatsharing market with an average of 12 seekers for every available room.
A lack of rental room stock is troubling other major cities too with Glasgow, London and Manchester all illustrating the same trend with a 1 in 11, 1 in 9 and 1 in 6 chance of bagging a room respectively. The competition in Glasgow skyrocketed 175% in two years alone.
In an increasingly cut-throat market, it seems there are certain ‘wow factors’ that will encourage tenants to ‘up’ their monthly budgets. 78% of Brits are willing to pay more than they’d originally budgeted in order to secure their dream room with the average flat sharer prepared to pay £88 more per month, and a majority (52%) saying they would consider paying upwards of £100 for a room that ticks the right boxes.
Market firmly in landlord’s favour
For almost three quarters (73%) of flatsharers an ensuite bathroom would be a key component of a dream room, whereas an expansive and well-maintained garden space would only inspire 19% of those surveyed to bump up their rent.
Key ‘non-negotiables’ for Brits considering a price hike highlight the importance of lifestyle ‘fit’. Considerations like the proximity of a flatshare to work or place of study (49%) and compatibility with flatmates (39%) were popular influencing factors. On the other hand, ‘frills’ like recent redecoration (6%) and living in a new build property (5%) came in at the bottom of the list.
The research from EasyRoommate further illustrates that landlords are all too aware that the market is firmly in their favour. Between the first and second quarters in 2015, letting agencies increased prices 16.2% followed by independent landlords increasing rents by 5.4% with landlords living within the property raising their charges by 3.7%.
For landlords, there’s little room for negotiation too; almost half (49%) said they would only consider dropping their price by £50 or less and over a third of landlords (35%) say they would remain firm on their rent prices even if their dream tenant applied for the room.
That said, the key factor for well over a third of landlords (41%) when it comes to decreasing the price is whether the tenant is a professional and not a student. Moreover, 38% of landlords said someone who has been in stable employment for one year or more would have an influence on them dropping their price.
Driving a hard bargain
This new data is published in the context of property shortages and increasing property sale prices in Britain also adding fuel to the flatsharing fire. The average monthly room rental price in the UK jumped 5.9% from £451 to £478 between the first and second quarters in 2015 alone. Prices increased 9.6% year on year on year between 2014 and 2015.
On a regional level, Scotland’s average room rental prices climbed between the first and second quarters in 2015 with Edinburgh up 4.6% to £454 and Glasgow 6.7% to £384. Between the second quarters in 2014 and 2015, Edinburgh’s prices shot up 13.2%. In keeping with its reputation for driving a hard bargain, London’s rental prices increased 3.7% between the first and second quarters in 2015 to £699 with prices up 6.6% the second quarters in 2014 and 2015.
EasyRoommate Chief Executive, Karim Goudiaby, says: “Our new research shows that tenants are paying more to get ahead in the game and the current challenges they face yet again reinforce the urgent need to replenish the housing supply in Britain with affordable accommodation.
“While we are certainly encouraged by the opportunities for landlords, particularly in light of the increase in tax relief for the Rent a Room Scheme, there is a pressing need to tackle the housing crisis to mitigate inflation with rented room prices and to ensure Britain’s renters can find a room that best suits them and their budget.”