Good news for buy-to-let landlords in Rotherham – ‘top of the range’, well-presented properties are getting really decent rents compared to a year ago. However, this rise in rents is thwarting many potential first time buyers from saving for a deposit and for money for a rainy day. On top of this, there is also a shortage of of Rotherham homes coming on the market thus adding fuel to the slowdown and affecting not just first time buyers but also those looking to move up the housing ladder.

Whilst it is true that the Government’s initiatives, targeted at improving the supply of homes built and helping first time buyers obtaining necessary funding, are slowly starting to work, I also believe that to boost more existing home-owners and their properties onto the market, we as a country, need to see a better focus placed on those looking to downsize (i.e. the mature generation).How

If we took away some hurdles to homeowners downsizing, such as removing stamp duty for those downsizers (as was done for first time buyers last year), together with encouraging even more first time buyers with 100% mortgages to buy the smaller properties, this would release more mid-range properties onto the market. Subsequently, this would encourage more mature homeowners to downsize from their bigger properties to buy those mid-range properties – thus completing the circle.

Looking at the most recent set of data from the Land Registry for Rotherham (the S65 postcode in particular), the figures show the indifferent nature of the current Rotherham property market.

Only 168 Rotherham (S65) homes changed hands in the last 6 months

Rotherham property values and transactions continue to be sluggish, and the monthly peaks and troughs of house prices and properties changing hands doesn’t mask the deficiency of suitable realistically priced property coming onto the property market. The housing market is slowly becoming inaccessible to some would-be home owners.

The data from the Land Registry is always about four or five months behind, but looking at what each property type is selling for in S65 makes interesting reading:

There’s quite a bit of variance in terraced and detached properties but we must remember these are the average prices paid, so it only takes a run of a few expensive or cheaper property types to have an impact on the figures.

What about the number of properties for sale?

I directed my research for the numbers from early summer in 2008. At that time, 1,554 properties were on the market for sale in our area, compared to 722 properties for sale when I was researching this article. That’s a drop of 54%.

The importance of landlords

The Government needs to seriously consider the supply and demand of the UK property market as a whole to ensure it doesn’t seize up. It needs to do that with bold and forward-thinking plans.In the meantime, people still need a roof over their head, so as local authorities don’t have the cash to build new houses anymore, it’s the job of Rotherham landlords to take up the slack. I must stress though, I have noticed a distinct ‘flight to quality’ by Rotherham tenants, who are prepared to pay top dollar for an exceptional home to rent.

If you want to know what tenants are looking for and what type of things you as a Rotherham landlord need to do to maximise your rental returns, feel free to drop me a line.