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 Cambridge property market, the Cambridge homeowners and Cambridge 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 Cambridge, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods, say Trumpington, Church End or Fen Ditton 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 Cambridge housing stock into bedrooms and type of property, but never before now have I cross-referenced type against bedrooms. These figures for the Cambridge City Council area make fascinating reading. It shows 78.11% 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 Cambridge. You see, it might interest the homeowners and landlords of Cambridge, 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, 21 one bed properties were for sale in Cambridge, today 59, a rise of 181%
- 12 months ago, 68 two bed properties were for sale in Cambridge, today 203, a rise of 199%
- 12 months ago, 87 three bed properties were for sale in Cambridge, today 151, a rise of 74%
- 12 months ago, 64 four bed properties were for sale in Cambridge, today 110, a rise of 72%
- 12 months ago, 51 five + bed properties were for sale in Cambridge, today 68, a rise of 33%
It can quite clearly be seen more Cambridge properties have become available, which can only be good news for Cambridge first time buyers and Cambridge 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 Cambridge 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 Cambridge 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 Cambridge landlords… all is not lost… you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework…