72.5% of Reading Properties have 3 or more bedrooms - Problem or Opportunity?

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 Reading property market, the Reading homeowners and Reading 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 Reading, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods, say Emmer Green, Caversham or Woodley 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 Reading housing stock into bedrooms and type of property, but never before now have I cross-referenced type against bedrooms. These figures for the Reading Borough Council area make fascinating reading. It shows 72.5% of all properties in the area have 3 or more bedrooms.

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 Reading. You see, it might interest the homeowners and landlords of Reading, 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, 62 one bed properties were for sale in Reading, today 144, a rise of 132%
  • 12 months ago, 147 two bed properties were for sale in Reading, today 360, a rise of 145%
  • 12 months ago, 172 three bed properties were for sale in Reading, today 424, a rise of 147%
  • 12 months ago, 177 four bed properties were for sale in Reading, today 250, a rise of 41%
  • 12 months ago, 72 five + bed properties were for sale in Reading, today 109, a rise of 51%

It can quite clearly be seen more Reading properties have become available, which can only be good news for Reading first time buyers and Reading buy to let landlords looking for a bargain (especially post Brexit) as property prices have stopped rising at the silly rates they were 12/18 months ago.

For several years Reading 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 Reading 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 Reading landlords… all is not lost… you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework…

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