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Market Research

525% – Rise in Doncaster Property Prices since 1981

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Roll the clock back 35 years to 1981, and Mrs. T was in power, we had a Royal Wedding, Britain won the Ashes and Bucks Fizz won Eurovision with ‘Making your Mind up’.   Haven’t things changed.  The number of homeowners and property investors who said they wish they had hindsight and bought up every house in Doncaster all those years ago, especially when you consider what has happened to Doncaster property values, as…

Doncaster Property Values since 1981 have risen by 525%.

Not bad when you consider inflation over the same time period has been 271.9%, meaning in real terms (i.e. after inflation), property values in Doncaster are 253.1% higher.   It’s no wonder people can’t afford to buy property anymore and landlords are attracted by bricks and mortar. Yet the changes to the Doncaster Property market run much deeper than property value changes as no one could have predicted how the property market has changed in Doncaster over the last 30 years.

Looking at the Local Authority data for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in 1981, 37% of Doncaster people lived in a Council House, whilst today its 17.7% … a massive drop which can mostly be attributed to Margaret Thatcher allowing Council tenants the right to buy their Council House.  The private rental sector since 1981 has, as one would have expected, also changed.

Nationally they’ve almost doubled, however, the proportion of properties privately rented in the Doncaster area (i.e. through a private landlord or a letting agency) may not have doubled, but they have certainly increased rising from 9.8% to 14.8% of property.

So, let us consider those people who own their own home, surely that has had a massive drop?  In 1981, the proportion of people who lived in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area who owned their own home was 53.1% … and today its … 65.4%. Not the seismic change most of you were expecting (including myself!).

Homeownership in the 1980’s and 1990’s in Doncaster did in fact rise, but as I have discussed in previous articles in the ‘Doncaster Property Market Blog’, that was because nearly every Council tenant was buying their council house. Now there are hardly any Council houses for the younger generation to move into (because of the right to buy scheme) so they have no choice but to privately rent.

.. and this is why the buy to let market in Doncaster is an investment sector that will continue to grow as councils aren’t building council houses in their thousands each year (like they were in the 1950’s/60’s and 70’s).  The Doncaster property market is constantly changing and buy to let for too long has been heavily dependent on house price growth, where yield has been almost forgotten.  I see the changes in tax and landlord and tenant law in a different perspective to the sooth-sayers and see it as bringing many opportunities where yield will become more important.  You might need to change your buy to let targets, your methodology to financing or even consider places other than Doncaster in which to invest your money, but this will shine a light on investing in properties with healthier yields and create more realistic long term buy to let opportunities, instead of short term growth bets and wagers.

Like Bucks Fizz said in their song, it’s time to make your mind up. The advice I give to my landlords, and also to you my blog reading friends is this; these changes will make some landlords panic, meaning competition for decent Doncaster buy to let bargains will reduce as fear of change kicks in and amateur investors flee the market.  These opportunities will provide a more stable platform for knowledgeable and wise Doncaster buy to let landlords to thrive in.  If you want to learn more about the Doncaster Property Market, feel free to pop in for a coffee at our office for a chat with me

Doncaster Market Research

Doncaster Property Market in 2017 and Beyond

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As the trees turn from green to hues of red and brown, the Doncaster property market has a confident feel to it. With the underlying fundamentals of a continued lack of properties being built, a shortage of properties (both in terms of quantity and quality) coming to the market and the continued low mortgage rate environment, buyer enquiries from first time buyers and buy to landlords is strong and motivation is even stronger, given those inexpensive lending rates and general demand caused by under supply.

Now of course, there are a few potential hurdles coming towards us in the coming months that could affect the Doncaster (and UK) property market. Mrs. May has yet to get her teeth into Brexit negotiations and we don’t know what the US Presidential elections might do to the money markets around the world, meaning that on the run up to Christmas, some savvy buyers may take advantage of the lack of certainty by making cheeky offers, but I don’t believe these will have a huge impact on property values (like the 2008 Credit Crunch).

You see, property ownership, whether it’s for yourself as a homeowner or buy to let landlord, is a long term investment. In fact, focusing on buy to let, a number of landlords who own property in Doncaster have made contact with me recently asking for my thoughts on the future of the buy to let market in Doncaster.  Well, as the Politician Edmund Burke said in the 18th century, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” .. in other words, to see the future you must look into the past.

Since the Millennium, the housing market has had everything thrown at it. The recent Brexit, last year’s General Election, the near melt down of the World Economy with the Credit Crunch, The Dot Com boom and bust, the housing market crisis in 2008, the housing boom of 2001 to 2004 .. the list goes on. In fact here is a graph (courtesy of the Land Registry) of average Property values since the Millennium in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-19-47-44

Even though we had the Dot Com bubble burst in 2000, two years later in January 2002, property values in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area have risen from £42,200 (in Jan 2000) to £47,200 .. and kept rising to October 2007, when they peaked at £129,000. Then we had the Credit Crunch and property prices continued to fall until April 2009, where they averaged £107,600 .. but look where they are now…  £120,400

The point I am trying to get across is long term future property values are more helpful to landlord investors than the month by month headline grabbing micro movements in the property market.  Look at the graph and you will see the growth in property values is an upward trend BUT, the average darts about as each month goes by.  So don’t watch the property indexes and panic if values drop next month or the month afterwards, because even in the glory days of 2001 to 2004 and 2012 to 2014, without fail, values always dropped slightly around Christmas, but people will always need a roof over their heads, and if they can’t buy and the council aren’t building anymore  .. only buy to let landlords can meet that demand.

Doncaster landlords are being hit in the pocket with the new up and coming taxation rules and yes we might have a bumpy ride on the run up to Christmas (because of the points raised earlier), Brexit or no Brexit, but the trend will be a slow and steady upward momentum of property values, demand for rental properties and yields in the Doncaster property market into 2017 and beyond.

Property News

What is really happening in the Doncaster Property Market?

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Well its been a few months since Brexit and as we settle into the Autumn with Great British Bake Off, Strictly and the Football season … the newspapers are returning to their mixed messages of good news, bad news and indifferent news about the Brit’s favourite subject after the weather … the property market.

The thing is the UK does not have one housing market. Instead, it is a patchwork of mini property markets all performing in a different way. At one end of scale is Kensington and Chelsea, which has seen average prices drop in the last twelve months by 6.2% whilst in our Yorkshire and the Humber region, house prices are 5.5% higher. But what about Doncaster?

Property prices in Doncaster are 1.1% higher than a year ago and are the same as last month.

So what does this mean for Doncaster landlords and homeowners? Not that much unless you are buying or selling in reality. Most sellers are buyers anyway, so if the one you are buying has gone remained static, yours has gone remained static.  Everything is relative and what I would say is, if you look hard enough, there are even in this market, there are still some bargains to be had in Doncaster.

However, the most important question you should be asking though is not only is what happening to property prices, but exactly which price band is selling? I like to keep an eye on the property market in Doncaster on a daily basis because it enables me to give the best advice and opinion on what (or not) to buy in Doncaster.

If you look at Doncaster and split the property market into four equalled sized price bands. Each price band would have around 25% of the property in Doncaster, from the lowest in value band (the bottom 25%) all the way through to the highest 25% band (in terms of value).

  • Nil to £90k 468 properties for sale and 155 sold (stc) i.e. 24% sold
  • £90k to £130k 450 properties for sale and 224 sold (stc) i.e. 33% sold
  • £130k to £200k 420 properties for sale and 199 sold (stc) i.e. 32% sold
  • £200k + 400 properties for sale and 106 sold (stc) i.e. 20% sold

Fascinating don’t you think that it is the middle Doncaster market that is doing the best?

The next nine months’ activity will be crucial in understanding which way the market will go this year after Brexit … but, Brexit or no Brexit, people will always need a roof over their head and that is why the property market has ridden the storms of oil crisis’ in the 1970’s, the 1980’s depression, Black Monday in the 1990’s, and latterly the credit crunch together with the various house price crashes of 1973, 1987 and 2008.

And why? Because of Britain’s chronic lack of housing will prop up house prices and prevent a post spike crash. … there is always a silver lining when it comes to the property market!

Market Research

The Big Debate: Buying Vs. Renting

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A recent survey amongst UK estate agency members aimed to find out which is the cheapest option when looking for a home: buying or renting. Conducted by Relocation Agent Network, of which Moss Properties is a member, the survey found that buying a house continues to be the cheaper option.

Relocation Agent Network, the national network of selected estate agents asked its members whether it was cheaper to buy or rent a three-bedroom semi-detached house over the course of a 12 month period. 92% said that it was cheaper to buy.

The national survey also looked at the possible savings you could make when buying property. Again, based on a three-bedroom semi-detached house, member respondents were asked what they estimated the annual saving was from buying a property instead of renting one. 38% of member respondents stated that it was possible to save between £1,000 and £1,500 a year, with another quarter suggesting a saving of up to £2,000 could potentially be made.

So in terms of saving money, Relocation Agent Network’s survey results demonstrate that buying really is the preferred option. Moss Properties understands that getting onto the property ladder can be challenging, but we’re here to help and guide you through the buying process. Contact us today to discuss your options. We’ve been appointed the area’s Local Expert by Relocation Agent Network, which means – in their opinion – we’re the best estate agent in the area to help you.”

Doncaster

9,100 People Live In Every Square Mile Of Doncaster – Is Doncaster Over Crowded?

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Doncaster is already in the clutches of a population crisis that has now started to affect the quality of life of those living in Doncaster. There are simply not enough homes in Doncaster to house the greater number of people wanting to live in the town. The burden on public services is almost at breaking point with many parents unable to send their child to their first choice of primary or secondary school and the chances of getting a decent Dentist or GP Doctor Surgery next to nil.

Well that’s what the papers would say.. but let’s look at real numbers, and in particular my specialist subject of Doncaster Property, with the housing issue in Doncaster. To start with, the UK has roughly 1,065 people per square mile – the second highest in Europe. The total area of Doncaster itself is 12.004 square miles and there are 109,800 Doncaster residents, meaning …

 

9,100 people live in each square mile of Doncaster, it’s no wonder we appear to be bursting at the seams!

 

… but yet again, newspapers, politicians and property market bloggers quote big numbers to sell more newspapers, get elected or get people to read their blog (I recognise the irony!). A square mile is enormous, so the numbers look correspondingly large (and headline grabbing). Most people reading this will know what an ‘acre’ is, but those younger readers who don’t, it is an imperial unit of measurement for land and it is approximately 63 metres square.

In Doncaster, only 13.03 people live in every acre of Doncaster … not as headline grabbing, but a lot closer to home and relative to everyday life, and if I am being honest, a figure that doesn’t seem that bad.

Yet, the issue at hand is, we need more homes building. In 2007, Tony Blair set a target that 240,000 homes a year needed to be built to keep up with the population growth, whilst the Tory’s new target since 2010 was a more modest 200,000 a year. However, since 2010, as a country, we have only been building between 140,000 and 150,000 houses a year. So where are we going to build these homes .. because we have no space! Or do we?

Well, let me tell you this fascinating piece of information I found out recently in an official Government report. Looking specifically at England (as it is the most densely populated country of the Union), all the 20 million English homes cover only 1.1% of its land mass. That is not a typo, only one point one per cent (1.1%) of land in England is covered by residential property. In more detail, of all the land in the Country –

  • Residential Houses and Flats 1.1%
  • Gardens 4.3%
  • Shops and Offices 0.7%
  • Highways (Roads and Paths) 2.3%
  • Railways 0.1%
  • Water (Rivers /Reservoirs) 2.6%
  • Industry, Military and other uses 1.4%

.. leaving 88.5% as Open Countryside (and if you think about it, add to that the gardens, which are green spaces, and the country is 92.8% greenspace)

As a country, we have plenty of space to build more homes for the younger generation and the five million more homes needed in the next 20 years would use only 0.25% of the country’s land. Now I am not advocating building massive housing estates and 20 storey concrete and glass behemoth apartment blocks next to local beauty spots such as Brodsworth Hall or the nearby Cusworth Hall , but with some clever planning and joined up thinking, we really do need to think outside the box when it comes to how we are going to build and house our children and our children’s children in the coming 50 years in Doncaster. If anyone has their own ideas, I would love to hear from you.

Uncategorised

What will the 0.25% Interest Rate do to the Doncaster Property Market?

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I had an interesting chat with a Bessacarr landlord who owns a few properties in the town. He popped his head in to my office as his wife was shopping in the area (and let’s be honest talking about the Doncaster Property Market is a lot more interesting than clothes shopping!). We had never spoken before (because he uses another agent in the town to manage his Doncaster properties) yet after reading my blog on the Doncaster Property Market for awhile, the landlord wanted to know my thoughts on how the recent interest rate cut would affect the Doncaster property market and I would also like to share these thoughts with you……

Well it’s been a few weeks now since interest rates were cut to 0.25% by the Bank of England as the Bank believed Brexit could lead to a materially lower path of growth for the UK, especially for the manufacturing and construction industries. You see for the country as a whole, the manufacturing and construction industries are still performing well below the pre credit crunch levels of 2008/09, so the British economy remains highly susceptible to an economic shock. This is especially important in Doncaster, because even though we have had a number of local success stories in manufacturing and construction, a large number of people are employed in these sectors. In Doncaster, of the 49,541 people who have a job, 5,358 are in the manufacturing industry and 4,126 in Construction meaning

10.8% of Doncaster workers are employed in the Manufacturing

sector and 8.3% of Doncaster workers are in Construction

The other sector of the economy the Bank is worried about, and an equally important one to the Doncaster economy, is the Financial Services industry. Financial Services in Doncaster employ 1,322 people, making up 2.7% of the Doncaster working population.

Together with a cut in interest rates, the Bank also announced an increase in the quantity of money via a new programme of Quantitative Easing to buy £70bn of Government and Private bonds. Now that won’t do much to the Doncaster property market directly, but another measure also included in the recent announcement was £100bn of new funding to banks. This extra £100bn will help the High St banks pass on the base rate cut to people and businesses, meaning the banks will have lots of cheap money to lend for mortgages .. which will have a huge effect on the Doncaster property market (as that £100bn would be enough to buy half a million homes in the UK).

It will take until early in the New Year to find out the real direction of the Doncaster property market and the effects of Brexit on the economy as a whole, the subsequent recent interest rate cuts and the availability of cheap mortgages. However, something bigger than Brexit and interest rates is the inherent undersupply of housing (something I have spoken about many times in my blog and the specific affect on Doncaster). The severe undersupply means that Doncaster property prices are likely to increase further in the medium to long term, even if there is a dip in the short term. This only confirms what every homeowner and landlord has known for decades .. investing in property is a long term project and as an investment vehicle, it will continue to outstrip other forms of investment due to the high demand for a roof over people’s heads and the low supply of new properties being built.

Market Research

87% of Doncaster Properties have 3 or more bedrooms – Problem or Opportunity?

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The orthodox way of classifying property in the UK is to look at the number of bedrooms rather than its size in square metres (although now we are leaving the EU – I wonder if we can go back to feet and inches?). It seems that homeowners and tenants are happy to pay for more space. It’s quite obvious, the more bedrooms a house or apartment has, the bigger it is likely to be. The reason being not only the actual additional bedroom space, but the properties with more bedrooms tend to have larger / more reception (living) rooms. However, if you think about it, this isn’t so astonishing given that properties with more bedrooms would typically accommodate more people and therefore require larger reception rooms.

 

In today’s Doncaster property market, the Doncaster homeowners and Doncaster landlords I talk to are always asking me which attributes and features are likely to make their property comparatively more attractive and which ones may detract from the price. Over time, buyers’ and tenants’ wants and needs have changed. In Doncaster, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods, say Bessacarr, Old Cantley or Scawthorpe can command a price nearly 50% higher than a similar house in an ‘average’ area. However, after location, the next characteristic that has a significant influence on the desirability, and thus price, of property is the number of bedrooms and the type (i.e. Detached/ Semi/Terraced/Flat).

In previous articles, I have analysed the Doncaster housing stock into bedrooms and type of property, but never before now have I cross-referenced type against bedrooms. These figures for the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area make fascinating reading. It shows 87% of all properties in the area have 3 or more bedrooms.

 

  Detached Semi-detached Terraced (including end-terrace) Flat
1 bedroom 37 249 143 195
2 bedrooms 558 3,035 3,466 792
3 bedrooms 4,730 24,174 12,295 436
4 bedrooms 6,857 3,743 1,677 68
5 or more bedrooms 2,139 786 246 25

I was genuinely surprised at the low numbers of one and two bed properties, especially 2 bed semis detached houses, especially as tenants like the smaller one and two bed properties in Doncaster. You see, it might interest the homeowners and landlords of Doncaster, that there has been a change in the numbers of properties on the market and the split in bedrooms on the market over the last 12 months

  • 12 months ago, 30 one bed properties were for sale in Doncaster, today 20, a drop of 33%
  • 12 months ago, 277 two bed properties were for sale in Doncaster, today 269, a drop of 3%
  • 12 months ago, 566 three bed properties were for sale in Doncaster, today 529, a drop of 7%
  • 12 months ago, 165 four bed properties were for sale in Doncaster, today 174, a rise of 5%
  • 12 months ago, 76 five + bed properties were for sale in Doncaster, today 73, a drop of 4%

For several years Doncaster buy-to-let investors have been the only buyers at the lower end (starter homes) of the market, as they have been enticed by high tenant demand and attractive returns. Some Doncaster landlords believe their window of opportunity has started to close with the new tax regime for landlords, whilst it already appears to be opening wider for first-time buyers. This is great news for first time buyers … but one final note for Doncaster landlords … all is not lost … you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework

Market Research

Only 38% of Doncaster Rented Property have Children living in them

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A few weeks ago I was asked a fascinating question by a local Councillor who, after reading the Doncaster Property Blog, emailed me and asked me – “Are Doncaster Landlords meeting the Challenges of tenanted families bringing up their families in Doncaster?”

What interesting question to be asked.

Irrespective of whether you are tenant or a homeowner, to bring up a family, the most important factors are security and stability in the home. A great bellwether of that security and stability in a rented property is whether tenants are constantly being evicted. Many tenancies last just six months with families at risk of being thrown out after that with just two months’ notice for no reason.

Some “left leaning Politicians” keep saying we need to deal with the terrible insecurity of Britain’s private rental market by creating longer tenancies of 3 or 5 years instead of the current six months. However, the numbers seem to be telling a different story. The average length of residence in private rental homes has risen in the last 5 years from 3.7 years to 4 years (a growth of 8.1%), which in turn has directly affected the number of renters who have children. In fact, the proportion of private rented property that have dependent children in them, has gone from 29.1% in 2003 to 37.4% today.

Looking specifically at Doncaster compared to the National figures, of the 12,332 private rental homes in Doncaster, 4,690 of these have dependent children in them (or 38%), which is interestingly (although expected) only just above the National average of already stated 37.4%.

Even more fascinating are the other tenure types in Doncaster…

  • 2% of Social (Council) Housing in Doncaster have dependent children
  • 8% of Doncaster Owner Occupiers (with a Mortgage) have dependent children
  • 7% of Owner Occupiers (without a Mortgage) have dependent children

Although, when we look at the length of time these other tenure types have, whilst the average length of a tenancy for the private rented sector is 4 years, it is 11.4 years in social (council) housing, 24.1 years for home owners without a mortgage and 10.4 years of homeowners with mortgages.

Anecdotally I have always known this, but this just proves landlords do not spend their time seeking opportunities to evict a tenant as the average length of tenancy has steadily increased. This noteworthy 8.1% increase in the average length of time tenants stay in a private rented property over the last 5 years, shows tenants are happy to stay longer and start families.

So, as landlords are already meeting tenants’ wants and needs when it comes to the length of tenancy, I find it strange some politicians are calling for fixed term 3 and 5 year tenancies. Such heavy handed regulation could stop landlords renting their property out in the first place, cutting off the supply of much needed rental property, meaning tenants would suffer as rents went up. Also, if such legislation was brought in, tenants would loose their ‘Get Out of Jail card’, as under current rules, they can leave at anytime with one months notice not the three or six month tenant notice suggested by some commenters.

Finally, there is an extra piece of good news for Doncaster tenants. The English Housing Survey notes that those living in private rented housing for a long periods of time generally paid less rent than those who chopped and changed.

Doncaster Market Research

New House Building in Doncaster slumps by 29.0% in the last year

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Let me speak frankly, even with Brexit and the fact immigration numbers will now be reduced in the coming years, there is an unending and severe shortage of new housing being built in the Doncaster area (and the UK as a whole).  Even if there are short term confidence trembles fueled by newspapers hungry for bad news, the ever growing population of Doncaster with its high demand for property versus curtailed supply of properties being built, this imbalance of supply/demand and the possibility of even lower interest rates will underpin the property market.

When the Tories were elected in 2015, Mr. Cameron vowed to build 1,000,000 new homes by 2020.  If we as a Country hit those levels of building, most academics stated the UK Housing market would balance itself as the increased supply of property would give a chance for the younger generation to buy their own home as opposed to rent.  However, the up-to-date building figures show that in the first three months of 2016 building starts were down.  Nationally, there were 35,530 house building starts in the first quarter, a long way off the 50,000 a quarter required to hit those ambitious targets.

Looking closer to home, over the last 12 months, new building in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area has slumped.  In 2014/15, for every one thousand existing households in the area, an additional 7.56 homes were built.  For 2015/16, that figure is now only 5.43 homes built per thousand existing households.  Nationally, to meet that 1,000,000 new homes target, we need to be at 7.12 new homes per thousand.

To put those numbers into real chimney pots, over the last 12 months, in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area,

  • 700 Private Builders (e.g. New Homes Builders)
  • Nil  Housing Association
  • Nil Local Authority

These new house building numbers are down to the fact that not enough is being done to fix the broken Doncaster housing market.  We are still only seeing 700 new homes being built per year in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area, when we need at least 918 a year to even stand still!

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-20-07-55

I am of the opinion Messer’s Cameron and Osborne focused their attention too much on the demand side of the housing equation, using the Help to Buy scheme and low deposit mortgages to convert the ‘Generation Rent’ i.e. Doncaster ‘20 somethings’ who are set to rent for the rest of their lives to ‘Generation Buy’.  On the other side of the coin, I would strongly recommend the new Housing Minster, Gavin Barwell, should concentrate the Government’s efforts on the supply side of the equation.  There needs to be transformations to planning laws, massive scale releases of public land and more investment, as more inventive solutions are needed.

However, ultimately, responsibility has to rest on the shoulders of Theresa May.  Whilst our new PM has many plates to spin, evading on the housing crisis will only come at greater cost later on.  What a legacy it would be if it was Mrs. May who finally got to grips with the persistent and enduring shortage of homes to live in.  The PM has already referenced the ‘need to do far more to get more houses built’ and stop the decline of home ownership.  However, she has also ruled out any changes to the green belt policy – something I will talk about in a future up and coming article.  Hopefully these statistics will raise the alarm bells again and persuade both residents and Councillors in the Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council area that housing needs to be higher on its agenda.

Property News

Doncaster Landlords counting the cost of a Tory Election win

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Can you remember just over a year ago now, at 10.05pm on Thursday, 7th May 2015 … with the shock news that BBC Exit Polls suggested the Conservatives would be returned with majority? The middle classes in Sprotbrough and Bessacar exhaled a huge sigh of relief, as Doncaster landlords, faced with rent controls from Red Ed and the Labour Party, now had something to cheer about as the Tory’s were always considered to be a political party that accepted the importance of the rental market, supported its development while properly targeting the lawbreaker landlords renting out below standard rental accommodation.

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