Making compromises during your home search
An overview of the current property market – July 2022
Within the last 3 years the number of properties in the market place has almost halved in the UK which is why we feel it is so important to make compromises during your home search.
With nearly 50% less properties available for renters, there is a huge surge in demand and more tenants than ever applying for each property. The vast choice of people wanting the property now means landlords have more power when it comes to choosing the best tenant for their property and they are legally allowed to vet applications and ultimately choose who they’d prefer to let to.
Some of the main reasons landlords are selling up are because of the current financial risks associated with maintaining a property fit for tenants and the current fragile state of the economy with rising interest rates; landlords are concerned. The government has tried to improve the sector by bringing in more stringent regulations for landlords such as improving property energy efficiency and protecting renters rights through The Renters Reform Bill so this means landlords have to invest more to ensure properties meet new criteria – something many property owners can’t or do not want to do.
Ultimately what we are trying to stress here is that the market is rocky for tenants especially those who are new to the UK market place. Many of our clients often come with huge demands such as ‘’an expectation that all bedrooms will be double rooms’’, ‘’that there will be an en-suite in each room’’ or ‘’that there will be plenty of choice in their ideal location’’ but often we have to have quite an open discussion with our clients at the start of their journey to talk about keeping our options open. The more compromises made during your home search, the more likely you are to find multiple properties to consider as your new home.
Here are some of the topics we often discuss around making compromises:
Extending your budget
Often, when you are moving as part of a Corporate Relocation you’ll be offered a set rental fee and your company will expect you to look at properties within that budget. Often there is no budge on your relocation package, so sometimes we discuss with clients about adding personal funds to top up their rental affordability. Even an extra £200 a month can make a huge difference to the type and amount of properties available to you, depending on the area you are searching in, and your own bespoke requirements.
Once we have an initial telephone consultation with our client, at the very start of your search, before we even agree on any orientation or home search days, we will research the market on your behalf to understand how your budget and needs compares with availability in the current market place. The property market is constantly changing and each client is completely individual, some people only want to look at new properties, whilst others certainly need car parking and others require good catchment schools within the area. This is why we do this search fresh with every client, to ensure we update you if we feel your budget amount could make a difference.
A quick snapshot below shows the average size (in sq ft) of properties around the globe. Depending on which country you are travelling from you may have an idea that you will get more or less property for your money in the UK.
More often than not, those coming from countries such as America, Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia and Australia are often quite shocked with the huge adjustment in living space. Over the last few decades new UK properties are built to smaller specifications so you will likely find the newer the property the more likely it will be slightly smaller than older properties with a similar price point. Quite often those relocating assume there will be built in wardrobes and storage, multiple en-suite bathrooms and enough space to fit a bed and desk but this often isn’t the case.
We often work with clients to really establish what their truest needs are; sometimes this could be a working from home solution, or it could be identifying that the children are comfortable sharing a room, or even a realisation that a guest room will actually not be a necessity. Really honing down to what really matters helps to ensure we are able to source a property that will fit both the clients lifestyle and budget.
Property sizes around the world:
- Russia: 613 sq ft
- China: 645 sq ft
- United Kingdom: 818 sq ft
- Italy: 871 sq ft
- Sweden: 893 sq ft
- Japan: 1022 sq ft
- Spain: 1044 sq ft
- Germany: 1173 sq ft
- France: 1205 sq fthttps://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-deliver-new-deal-for-renters
- Greece: 1356 sq ft
- Denmark: 1474 sq ft
- Canada: 1948 sq ft
- United States: 2163 sq ft
- Australia: 2303 sq ft
Another really important consideration that must not be overlooked is finding the right location for your move. 80% of our clients have never visited the place they intend to move themselves and their families too. At Citrus our Relocation Consultations have extensive knowledge of the popular destinations to move to in the UK either having lived there themselves or having built up years of industry knowledge moving others to the same location.
Many of our clients already have a set idea about their preferred area, but until our home search research has been done, we cannot guarantee a property can be sourced in this exact location that will fit the clients key requirements. Around 50% of the time the client’s desires and budget is feasible and a variety of options can be put forward, however the other 50% of the time we often end up considering locations within a 20 mile radius of the initial search location. Quite often we find areas that are much better suited to the clients needs. Some reasons for are finding a property with:
- A location that’s in a catchment area for a better school
- Better travel links to commute
- More lifestyle options – more green space and closer proximity to shopping districts
- An area that genuinely offers better value for money – more likely to have multiple car parking spaces, a bigger garden, larger rooms or a certain style of housing
Our last words on compromise
We always ask our clients to keep open minded about their home search in the UK. It is certainly fantastic to have non-negotiables (and we will probably do a blog about that, as what really matters to you if super important). However when it comes to getting better value for money, finding easier ways to support your busy lifestyle, ensuring your children have access to the best education and ensuring you stay within budget there are many compromises that we can support and guide you with.