Fears over the future of Southampton housing

THE number of new buy-to-let properties being advertised in Southampton is falling at an alarming rate, according to recent statistics.

Figures from UK housing investors Property Partner showed that, in August, a 15% drop nationwide in the amount of new buy-to-let properties being put on the market.

In Southampton, the figure is slightly higher, at 18.62%.

The number of new buy-to- let properties has fallen more in Southampton than it has in most parts of the country.
The number of new buy-to- let properties has fallen more in Southampton than it has in most parts of the country.

Dan Gandesha, CEO of Property Partner, said: “You’d expect a seasonal drop off in the number of new buy-to-let properties coming onto the market during August but September has also proved worryingly slow.

“Traditional landlords have been given a proverbial cold bath with recent tax change announcements – the hike in the stamp duty surcharge in April has certainly discouraged landlords from increasing their rental portfolios.”

Mr Gandesha also said that cities such as Southampton are in for a rough ride over the next few months.

He said: “Alongside tougher lending criteria and cuts to mortgage interest tax relief starting next year, many landlords will be now doubting if it’s worth the hassle, particularly in the South East. Profits have been hit hard and those landlords that decide to stick with it, may just be forced to push up rents – not a promising prospect for tenants.

“We believe Britain should be building more homes across all tenure types. Over the past decade, more and more people have moved away from home ownership and become long-term renters. It’s time for the new government to make build-to-rent a key priority.”

A lack of construction in the city has been blamed for the apparent housing shortage.
A lack of construction in the city has been blamed for the apparent housing shortage.

However, letting agent Sean Connerton from Polygon Property Management believes that the issue is being blown out of proportion.

He said: “The main issue I have with the figures is that these are new buy-to-let properties, rather than existing ones.

“There isn’t a housing crisis in Southampton because the houses already exist, and rotate through the student population. There are sometimes even a few houses going spare.”

There are also a number of properties in Southampton that are currently vacant.
There are also a number of properties in Southampton that are currently vacant.

Click below to hear further analysis from Property Partner about the figures:

by David George (@DavidGeorgeMMJ)