The amazing truth about the PRS in Bicester

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The PRS (Private Rental Sector) in the UK has grown considerably in both size and importance over the last five years and is now worth a staggering £1.29 trillion. The PRS now makes up 18% of the housing stock in England alone and is expected to rise to more than a third by 2032.

Because of this rampant growth, it is no surprise to see that 23.8 per cent of homes in Bicester are privately rented, which is encouraging for private landlords and would-be investors. Even homeowners have something to think about, as they may be tempted to turn the family home into a source of income, or indeed use their pension pot to become a landlord.

A decade ago, buying a home was a very different experience. Post-credit crunch the landscape in Bicester has changed, with many younger people unable to buy their own homes due to house price growth outpacing wages. This has made it both logical and practical for many people to rent, choosing between renting privately or using the options available from the local housing association.

10 years ago, of the 3,072 households in Bicester, around 2,021 were owner-occupied. Today the number of households in our area has increased to 3,425, with the number of owner-occupied properties increasing to 2,255. In 2001, only 754 properties were rented by private tenants compared to 2011’s figure of 815 — an increase of 8.1 per cent.

Long gone are the days when tenants viewed rented accommodation as a stopgap; today many renters are in it for the long haul, often taking initial two-year contracts and sometimes staying for up to five years or longer. While this is ultimately good news for private landlords wanting to minimise void periods, it also means that tenants have higher expectations and are more discerning about their rented homes. They are inclined to pay that little bit extra to get exactly what they desire from a home, and landlords will need to ensure their properties are in the best condition possible if they are going to maximise their return.

If you are interested in purchasing your first, second or umpteenth buy-to-let, please visit our office for a friendly chat so we can give you the inside track and lowdown on being a landlord in Bicester today. The market is awash with opportunities at the moment, and we'd love to work with you to find the ideal property.

Quarterly index of sales by house type

This chart has indexed the levels of transactions for flats and houses over the last eight quarters. That means it takes the actual level of sales at the start of the period and converts them to 100, and then you can see the relative changes running up to the present.

Prices in last few months (flat vs house)

We wanted to take a look at how overall average prices of flats and houses have changed in the last seven months. This is quite a short timeframe so there's a fair bit of volatility from month to month but the story it tells is an interesting one nonetheless.

How many cars per household?

The profile of car ownership is a great signal of the practical needs of residents in a local market. Most households have a car, but the number owned varies enormously based on the type of area. For example, if you live in a one bedroom flat in a city you're much less likely to own a car than if you live in a commuter suburb.

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