The UK’s population is growing at record breaking rates- in the last decade we reached figures of over 63 million; an increase of 7% that equates to the entire population of Manchester being added every year. An ageing demographic and increased immigration levels mean we are on track to reach over 28 million households in the next twenty years, and things aren’t looking likely to slow down any time soon. Stoke Newington estate agent M&M Property warns, “The UK is mow more overcrowded than any other country in the EU and in 20 years’ time our population will be double that of Germany. And Germany is three times the size of Britain.”
Experts believe than almost a quarter of a million new homes need to be built every year to keep up with demand. But as Wimbledon estate agent Robert Holmes points out, “The reality is the number of new builds is currently at the lowest levels in almost a hundred years.” And it’s not just about buying homes- with many people now unable to get a foot on the property ladder demand for rental properties has increased accordingly, and we now need over 1 million more rental homes in Britain.
Whilst those may seem like scary statistics, there’s one group of people who are rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of our unprecedented population numbers- property investors. With demand outweighing supply by record levels, one thing is certain- people will always need houses. And with rental properties currently accounting for a measly 11% of total housing stock in the UK, buy-to-let investors have particular reason to be excited.
Brexit proved many things, one of them being that when the political landscape of the country is sent into turmoil, the stock market follows suit. Easily the most shocking and volatile political change the country had experienced for decades, the UK’s majority decision to leave the EU saw $2 Trillion leave the world markets in hours. The Bank of England’s response was to desperately try to claw back some control, pledging $250 Million of tax payer’s money. The simple fact is that the stock markets and banks no longer provide the same kind of security they once did, and smart investors are looking for safer ways to invest their pennies.
Some investors are looking into fun alternatives like to traditional financing, like vintage watches and sports cars. For others who are looking for something a little more familiar, investing in property remains a great option. With demand for rental properties reaching astronomical levels and an ageing population, unless there is a major disaster we will always need more houses. Plaza Estates says, “There are some incredibly lucrative opportunities available at the moment, and smart investors are keeping their eyes on property hotspots like Knightsbridge, Paddington and Marble Arch.” There are a few surprises in there too, such as Rotherham, Birmingham and Manchester, all of which have been subject to major regeneration projects and are becoming increasingly popular with young professionals.
If you look at the statistics, there has never been a better time to invest in property than now.