By Dan Thompson
Margate has seen one of the highest rises in rent in the country over the last year, a new study of the UK’s private rental market has found.
While Swansea in south Wales has topped the table with a 19.7% annual rise, Margate rents have increased by 18.8%, well above the national average rise of 10.8%.
The report, by property website Rightmove, found that demand for rental property is exceeding supply. The number of prospective tenants is more than three times higher than the number of properties available. It identified that people hoping to buy are spending longer in rented accommodation, and that a number of tenants are now signing longer leases meaning less property comes onto the market.
A number of other factors have also been identified, including people choosing to relocate and change their lifestyle after the pandemic. In 2021, 60% of London’s renters said they were considering a move to the seaside.
In Margate, as well as people relocating to the seaside, the increase of second homes and holiday lets like Airbnb is also a factor. Last year, housing union ACORN Margate organised protests after finding 300 properties listed on Airbnb, but only 15 rentals.
Buy-to-let landlords have also either increased rents or left the market because of tax changes, with a ‘fairer tax’ imposed on their profits from buy-to-let property from 2020, and new legislation meaning landlords will be expected to make their homes more energy efficient.
MPs from the Public Accounts Committee this week released a report that found that 13% of privately rented homes in England had at least one serious threat to health and safety, that landlords are legally obliged to address. The report also identified 52% of landlords refusing to let to those in receipt of housing benefit.
“Unsafe conditions, overcrowding, harassment, discrimination and dodgy evictions are still a huge issue in the private rented sector,” said the committee’s chair Meg Hillier MP.
The latest annual Halifax Seaside Town Review also lists Margate as experiencing the greatest 10-year rise in property prices, up 98% to £282,734.
The review also tracks 5 year price rises between 2016 and 2021 with Ramsgate seeing a 41% hike in average house price from £204,367 to £288,330 while the 5 year rise for Margate was 40% with the average house price of 201,474 rising to £282,734.