Property News

What Does the Housing White Paper Mean for the Student Rental Market?

Rose - February 9, 2017

Since the Government released the Housing White Paper on Tuesday, many industry experts have rushed to respond to its content. But what does the controversial document mean for the student rental market?

What Does the Housing White Paper Mean for the Student Rental Market?

What Does the Housing White Paper Mean for the Student Rental Market?

On Tuesday, the Government unveiled new plans that it hopes will stimulate the housing market, encouraging more property development and making renting a more affordable option.

In the White Paper, titled Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, the Government set out its plans to boost the supply of new homes in the UK and make renting cheaper for the country’s tenants.

One measure, to introduce three-year tenancies, has been met with open arms from some in the industry, while other industry bodies believe that the Government has not shown enough support for individual landlords, who make up the bulk of the private rental sector.

Indeed, the document has been met with mixed feelings from experts in the property industry, with some believing that renters will actually be worse off following the announcement.

StudentTenant.com, which deals with the student rental market, acknowledges that the Government has taken a radical approach towards fixing the housing market.

Some of the key promises from the Housing White Paper are to support and speed up the process of developing properties, providing access to households who are currently priced out of the housing market with the Affordable Homes Programme, and making renting a more viable long-term option for private tenants.

Danielle Cullen, the Managing Director of StudentTenant.com, agrees: “We do need to protect those who are renting more, as there has long been a crisis of a lack of supply of affordable rental stock. Governments have always focused on ownership, with schemes like Help to Buy, but have seemingly always left the rental market out in the cold.

“It’s encouraging to see the Government is finally putting in place structured policies to benefit the rental market, offering people a chance to save money whilst renting. Over recent years, it’s become a trend for those who rent properties to spend around half their income on renting a property alone – and that’s without bills. Demand has significantly outgrown supply in many places in the UK, which benefitted everyone except renters, so hopefully we will finally see changes to make it a fairer market for everyone.”

But will the changes make the student rental market fairer?

Cullen explains: “This does, however, leave an area of uncertainty in how this could impact the student rental market and investment into student letting properties. We could see an increase in buy-to-let properties in the UK, but landlords could be more inclined to privately rent to families and professional couples rather than students. We’re not sure what this means for the future of student rental properties. The Government could be fixing the rental market in general, but at the expense of student housing, where we know there is already a distinct shortage in a number of areas.”

Do you invest in the student rental market? Make sure to keep up to date with any future announcements concerning the sector at LandlordNews.co.uk.