I am going to jump on the band wagon and declare lettings the darling of the industry.
It is of course common ground that lettings is currently the stronger market within the industry and the question I would like to ask is whether residential sales will ever recover?! Before I get an EAT forum bashing I am of course aware that sales will improve in time, but I am looking at the bigger, longer term picture. Is the country moving towards a more International lettings dominated culture?
Consider this: I am a 22 year old graduate (I wish) and although I don’t want to move out of home I want to find fame and fortune in the big city. Traditionally, I would probably have rented with some pals, had fun, met a girl, had less fun and then purchased a property. But why should/would I now? Property where I want to live is so hideously expensive that me and the girlfriend couldn’t afford it, the banks don’t want to lend and we can’t save 15% of the extortionate price in any event. Let’s face it, why would I plough this capital into a property even if I had it?
Indeed, we can find a nice place where we want to live which is affordable on our joint incomes. Yes I could buy in Timbuktu and commute, but again for what purpose? My property is not going to show a significant gain that will allow me to buy a big house in the countryside with no mortgage. In fact, I don’t want to be on the property ladder at all - that’s what my parents did and they are trying to sell their Bulgarian holiday home and remortgage the UK home! It is akin to staying in one job for life, times are changing and I don’t really see the need to ‘own’ a property. This sounds familiar, oh yes, I wrote a similar post about a year ago. Your customer is changing and Lettings will be the new sales.
Perhaps we have come full circle and after taking over the banks, the government will update the council house system and create a modern lettings model? Who knows, but I am off to start a letting agency in Iceland.