The NHS is the biggest employer in the UK and the fifth biggest in the world, so having a major hospital in Lincoln means the staff working there can have a big influence on those operating in the private rental sector.
The reason for this is because many hospitals workers are highly likely to rent, at least for a while. In Lincoln, our County Hospital is one of the city’s biggest employers – and many of these are migrant workers. In fact, the government** reports that one in eight NHS staff (12.5%) say they are not British and the Migration Observatory*** reports migrant workers are three times as likely to rent as those born in the UK. Therefore, having a large hospital in the area means demand for rental properties is likely to continue at a steady pace into the future, even with Brexit looming.
Hospital workers who are looking to rent tend to span the whole of the rental sector, too, from student nurses looking for house shares, through to consultants and other senior staff coming from abroad, wanting to live in detached executive homes, which are in short supply in Lincoln.
As always, location is a big factor. If you’re considering targeting hospital workers, you should research any property’s location from a commuting perspective. In Lincoln, the hospital is located in the northern area of the city so this may be the obvious place to start your property search. But consider, too, public transport availability. Hospital workers are likely to have the added complication of working shifts, travelling to and from work at unsociable hours and on bank holidays, so if they are relying on public transport and it does not serve their needs, you need to ensure they can easily get to and from work.
We know from our own Belvoir Rental Index which has been running now for 10 years that rental rates are always heavily influenced by salaries. Lincoln’s average wage is £27,704, however, if you’re hoping to attract hospital workers to your property, it is worth considering that the starting salary of a newly qualified nurse (Band 5)**** is more likely to be around £22,128. Typically those renting will spend around a third of their salary, so if you want to target this market, choose who you want to let to first, then find out what salary they are on and work out what rent they can afford.
If you are already or are considering renting to hospital workers, do get in touch with me and I can help identify suitable, affordable properties in the right location for you.