Portsmouth has seen a dramatic decline in HMO properties being let by students/sharers and there are many different reasons for this.
THE PANDEMIC – Students and professionals: since the pandemic they have been given the choice to work/study from home, this has meant that there has been no need for students to come to Portsmouth, or professionals to re-locate because they can manage their working/studying lives from any location. This article would also seem to back up that the Pandemic is one of the main reasons for the decline.
RENTAL PRICES – Every year now for as far as I can remember, prices have risen year-on-year and I think now they have reached a point where it is no longer affordable for some people to move from home. Some HMO properties have reached up to £700pm and above, and some without a ‘bills included’ option. When you actually look at what you could get for this figure when searching the market, £700pm is higher than some 1-bedroom properties in the area. Given the choice would you rather have a self-contained unit, or share with 4, 5, 6, or even 7 other people?
HIGH-RISE BLOCKS – Before the multiple builds of the High-Rise Towers in the Town Centre, the HMO market was booming, very rarely would you get to the 1st of September and have a single HMO property on the market available to rent. Since these builds have been completed and have been built specifically for Students, the decline has been quite dramatic. The High-Rise Developments have the ability to house 100s of Students all in one location and they are brand new with modern living throughout. They also have facilities built within, gyms, libraries, and cafeterias to name just a few. But one of the main factors for the students wanting to reside in these is the walking distance to University, most of the buildings are less than a 5-minute walk to University.
So, what can you do?
If you take the above into account there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of having an empty property.
PRICE REDUCTION – make rooms affordable and include a ‘bills included’ option also. When thinking of moving into a property people will want hassle-free living, and one affordable payment including rent and bills is one of them.
MODERNISE YOUR PROPERTY – during the void period, it is always a good idea to do updates to your property, replace broken or used furniture, advertise improvements for a new tenancy, all this will attract potential renters.
RENT TO A FAMILY – Although the rental return will not be as much, it will make sure that you do not have an empty property, and more often than not you will have a much longer tenancy with no yearly void periods.
CONSIDER SELLING – With the HMO market not showing any signs of improving it may be an idea to start thinking of selling. Strangely, although the rental market for HMO properties has declined, the buying market for HMO Properties has not, so if you are looking to sell, NOW would be a good time.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this or require support with your HMO property, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.