Portsmouth Rents Rise
Across the country the cost of a single room has jumped significantly – Portsmouth has seen a below average 12% increase with median rents rising to £576 per month. We predicted Additional Licensing would be the final straw after tax changes, mortgage increases and utility bills which would drive small HMOs out of the market, leaving them to be replaced by the much more expensive 'Super HMOs' and student halls. Sadly, this does appear to be the case.
The national average jumped 17% in the 2nd quarter to over £700 per month – so there is no doubt of the direction of travel locally.
Good News For Some
The good news for Portsmouth is that we are still one of the cheapest places to be a student in the country which bodes well for the University and those few local landlords left in this sector.
Student halls are also reaping the benefits of the shortage of properties – having rented a higher proportion of rooms than usual for this time of year even after increasing rents by 7%: (Remember, their rooms were significantly more expensive than the average room – so whilst the percentage increase is lower than others quoted here, the absolute increase is still very large).
The bad news, is that single room accommodation is the lowest rung of the housing ladder – so those unable to afford anything else may no longer be able to afford a single room; exacerbated by local authorities forcing the 'really cheap' homes out of the market in their constant striving for more space and higher standards.
Also, as we raise the 'lowest rung' it has a knock on effect on everything above it – so rents and house prices will rise accordingly (though less so house prices due to the deflationary impact of mortgage rates). Also, the cost to local authorities of housing the homeless increases as a result of the increased need for support.