It would seem the City of “Perspiring Dreams”, or “Silicon Fen” to which it is often now referred, is becoming more exclusive by the year, with rent increases beating national records.
According to a recent report by the Cambridge News, Cambridge’s private rental market has been branded “a bonanza for landlords”, with the highest rent increases in the country.
Research carried out by the News shows the cost of renting in the city climbing higher than “almost anywhere else in the country over the past 12 months”.
Figures produced by the Cambridge News show that the average rent in Cambridge went up by 20 per cent in just a year. This, they claim, is the third highest rental increase out of anywhere else in the country, “with only the commuter belt Three Rivers and the City of London seeing a higher surge in prices”.
Cambridge could be the only local authority out of more than 300 nationally to experience such increases, where every type of property in Cambridge has seen double-digit increases on average rents, year on year.
Cambridge it seems is awash with HMO (bed-sits) according to Cambridge City Council figures obtained by the News, suggesting that more than 5,000 houses in the city are now houses in multiple of occupation (HMOs) – this would equate to around 10 per cent of the entire housing stock.
City council housing chief Cllr Kevin Price has said:
“…These latest figures confirm just why we needed Labour’s plan to give renters some security over rents. If Ed Miliband had been Prime Minister today, rents would have been set for three years.
“Under the Conservatives, landlords can still jack up the rent every six months, and that is exactly what we are seeing in Cambridge.
“Government inaction is costing Cambridge renters and employers dear.
A freedom of information request made of the council showed that of the estimated 5,000 HMOs in the city only 300 had actually been registered, which would seem at first sight an appalling indictment on the council.
The Cost of Renting in Cambridge
|Oct 13 – Sept 14||Apr 14 – Mar 15||Oct 14 – Sept 15||Year on year % increase|
|Room||£457 (12)||£513 (4)||£508 (4)||11 (33)|
|Studio||£695 (2)||£771 (1)||£782 (1)||13 (10)|
|One bed||£845 (4)||£861 (3)||£934 (1)||11 (8)|
|Two bed||£1052 (13)||£1097 (11)||£1190 (4)||13 (4)|
|Three bed||£1196 (25)||£1204 (24)||£1377 (16)||15 (3)|
|Average||£934 (41)||£1016 (33)||£1122 (22)||20 (3)|
These figures are the average cost of renting that type of property in Cambridge over the specified time period, according to the Valuation Office Agency. The figure in brackets is where Cambridge ranked nationally among all the local authorities outside London.
For the year on year % increase, the figure in brackets is also Cambridge’s rank nationally, but includes the local authorities in London as well
Anton Frost, lettings partner at Carter Jonas Bradshaws, told the Cambridge News:
“These figures are an indication of Cambridge’s strong economy, which continues to attract high calibrate tenants for landlords across the city.
“As Cambridge becomes increasingly more attractive, the side effect is an increased cost of living.”
Here is a reader response to the article:
moufflon | January 03 2016, 9:59AM
“Why is this so difficult for people to understand? Market rents are not set by some grand collusion of landlords and letting agents, they are set by the balance of supply and demand for housing. We haven’t built enough housing (to rent or buy), whilst demand has rocketed, so the market price has increased. In the year ending Jun 2015 we had net immigration of 336,000, but completed only 82,000 new homes.
“Yes we need more control over immigration, but mostly it’s simple: BUILD LOTS MORE HOUSING. Meanwhile, everyone involved is doing everything they possibly can to constrain housing supply and make things worse – the Tories are trying to tax buy-to-let landlords out of existence, Labour want to introduce rent controls and inflict as much damage as possible on developers, and Nimbys object to every attempt to build more homes or increase the density of new developments.
“Conclusion – market rents will be going up again. The idiocy of thinking you can fix this by fixing prices is beyond belief – that theory has been tested to destruction – supply will fall, the ‘lucky’ ones with controlled rent housing will be abused by Rachman style landlords, and thousands will be left without adequate homes to live in. Where is the next generation going to live?”
Cambridge has the highest rent increases – https://t.co/ofDEDHEuh3
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) January 5, 2016