Tough times see ‘to let’ market boom

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SOUTH Holland’s housing rental market is booming as people struggle to buy their own homes.

But the good news is that the cost of renting a home here is “fairly affordable”, compared to more than half of the UK where the monthly rent is more than 35 per cent of the average family’s take-home pay.

Figures released by homeless charity Shelter show that the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom property in South Holland costs between 30 and 34 per cent of an average family’s income.

In the most expensive areas, families can spend more than 50 per cent of their income on rent.

Spalding estate agent Angela Newton, of AP Sales, said people in South Holland are relatively lucky when it comes to the cost of renting a house, even though it is traditionally a low wage area.

She said: “There are a lot of people renting in South Holland because they cannot afford to buy, even though property prices have gone down.

“Many lenders insist on buyers providing a 10 per cent deposit and many people are not able to save that kind of money because you still can’t buy much for less than £100,000.

“We let about 200 properties a month and that has grown and is continuing to grow, particularly at the moment as people don’t think they will be able to sell their house so rent it out with a view to selling it when the property market becomes more buoyant.

“Because of this there is always something available to meet the needs of those looking for somewhere to rent.”

Mrs Newton said the average price for renting a two-bedroom home in South Holland is around £500 to £550, which puts it within the reach of most people.

And she said people do “progress through” the rental chain, moving up from single bed flats to two bedroom homes and then three and four bedroom houses, leaving room at the bottom for those just starting out.

She said: “There is usually something out there for everyone and we do find that the rental properties are snapped up quite quickly.

“Usually by the time a tenant is ready to move out, we have someone ready to move in within a few days.

“Rental properties are rarely empty for any length of time – there is always someone who wants it.”