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Upminster rental market trends revealed

29 November 2019

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We previously looked at what homeowners in Upminster need to know about the local property market, and why Upminster was named as a top destination for second steppers.

Here, though, we zone in on the popular East London commuter town’s rental market to see what the latest trends are.

Affordable homes appeal to tenants

Upminster’s affordability in comparison to other parts of London makes it appealing to tenants, as does its excellent transport links. In fact, research earlier this year found that Upminster Bridge was one of the most affordable locations for tenants on the London Underground, well below the average rent for the District Line of more than £2,200.

Greater affordability combined with strong commuter links means demand from tenants for homes in Upminster is likely to be high, while at the same time supply is generally low – which means landlords have a fair bit of leverage when it comes to negotiating higher rents.

At the same time, property prices are cheaper in this part of East London than more central locations, which means the initial buy-in is lower and your yields are less squeezed.

You have plenty to recommend to would-be tenants, with District Line, C2C and Overground services all ferrying people into Central London, while Upminster is close by to a number of the stations of the new Elizabeth Line. Once that line is fully operating, it will make it easier than ever for locals to get to Canary Wharf, Heathrow Terminals, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and Paddington, as well as other locations in East London/Essex and as far out as Reading in the west.

It’s also home to good local schools, a large number of restaurants, pubs and cafes, easy access to green space, and a slower pace of life than the centre of the capital.

A small but growing market

While rental homes aren’t anywhere near as widespread as houses to buy in Upminster – research suggests, for example, that there are seven times more homes to buy than rent – there is a good likelihood that trends in the town will start to reflect the wider trend for more people, of all ages and demographics, deciding to rent instead of buy.

The private rented sector is expected to account for 25% of all households by the end of 2021, is currently the second largest form of tenure in the UK, and is the largest in London. There is a good chance this will spread to the capital’s environs as renting becomes more and more popular, and people are pushed out of central London to find more affordable options on the outskirts.

There is a rising number of middle-aged and family tenants, while the majority of millennials rent rather than own. This is likely to be the case for the generations that follow them, too, including Generation Z and Alpha.

In other words, demand from renters is only likely to go one way in the coming years as home ownership continues to decline, especially among the younger generations. More affordable locations, such as Upminster – which, while it has an average price of just over £505,000 (Rightmove), is cheaper than many neighbouring areas – may in turn become more appealing to buy-to-let investors keen to maximise their yields.

According to Rightmove, a one-bed flat in Upminster would set tenants back £900 a month, a two-bed flat would be a reasonable £1,184 a month, a three-bed house would be just over £1,500 a month and a four-bed house would be £1,971 a month – certainly much more affordable than more central parts of the capital but at the same time still offering a good level of rental income for landlords and investors to get excited about.

Why Upminster?

Upminster, which is surrounded by residential areas such as Cranham, Emerson Park and Hacton, and sits close to Hornchurch and Gidea Park, is a town in the London Borough of Havering with a population of around 25,000.

It’s recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book and for much of its history was a small parish until considerable post-war expansion increased its population significantly.

Originally a rural village in Essex, it was eventually swallowed up by the outwards growth of London and became part of Greater London in 1956.

As mentioned above, one of its biggest appeals is its excellent transport links, as well as a long high street with a diverse range of shops, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and cafes.

There are both chain and independent eateries, with Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Italian and modern British all on offer, as well as traditional ‘caffs’ and pudding-friendly establishments.

Upminster Park is the most local green space, while Upminster Windmill is something of a local landmark and a keen point of interest. Cinemagoers can head to nearby Romford for their film fix, while Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch is on hand for culture vultures.

For more information about successfully letting your home in Upminster, you can get in touch with our lettings team on 01708 259535 or via lettings@balgoresupminster.com. To find out how much you could be generating in rental income, check out our free lettings valuation tool.

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