Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?

by Mark Alexander

22:00 PM, 19th August 2018
About a month ago

Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?

Make Text Bigger
Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?

I have a theory, and I hope I am wrong!

Many Eastern Europeans came to the UK because they could earn more, and despite the higher costs of living they could send money home to their families.

However, a few years ago, every £1 they sent home converted to around €1.40 whereas it’s now closer to €1.10.

That’s just one factor. Another is uncertainty over whether they will be able to stay in the UK post Brexit. Another is the rising cost of living, rents being a prime example. Landlords are looking to increase rents to cover their own increasing costs.

Recently, I had an excellent Eastern European tenant move out of one of my properties to move to Germany. He said he had been offered a better opportunity. I didn’t think much of it at the time, save for the fact he was an excellent tenant and I was sad he was leaving. Nevertheless, I did my sums, decided it was worth keeping the property and advertised it to re-let. I didn’t even increase the rental price, which had remained the same since he moved in four years ago. At that time I had several applicants to choose from.

Two weeks after advertising the property I hadn’t received any enquiries. The advert was fine and I put it down to lethargy due to the hot weather. Nevertheless, I hate rental voids so I decided to drop the price by £80 a month. My thinking was that I would be inundated with enquiries, because mine is the best property in the area and I was advertising it at least £50 a month below the advertised rental price of inferior properties. The plan was to pick the best applicants and then go to final offers to try to get them to bid higher.

Another four weeks on and it still isn’t let. I had one applicant but he had a history of unsatisfied CCJ’s and I couldn’t get rent Guarantee Insurance on him. My view is that I would rather have an empty property than to risk taking on a tenant that an RGI provider considers too risky to underwrite.

Having done the sums again, it now transpires this property falls into the Return on Investment category I set for properties to sell when they become vacant.

It seems quite clear the amount of housing stock available for private rental is dwindling, due to onerous legislative policy. So why is my property still empty? My concern is that demand from tenants might be reducing even faster than supply of property available to rent, especially if migrant workers are moving out of the UK.

I appreciate one property doesn’t show a trend, so I’m interested to read others’ comments on thoughts and recent experiences.



Comments

Monty Bodkin

7:22 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

July and August are always dead months.

However, to get no enquiries then you are doing something wrong.

I've got one on this month, 15 enquiries, none of them eastern Europeans. They are only a small (but significant) part of the market in most areas.

I'd also add that mine is on at £50 above average as it is the only one I've got coming empty and I'm in no hurry to let
-ever noticed everyone says they charge below market average? Logically, someone must be charging above the average.

If you are charging £80 below market and the property is right and you are not getting enquiries then you are not tapping in to the home grown market in your area.

Hate to say this but try going back to basics with the best, local, established, independent letting agent with a high street shop window and who still advertises in the local rag.

rita chawla

10:02 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

I've experienced the same. I've renting my extra room for years now and used to get many interests from potential lodgers from Europe (EU area) at this time of the year (Aug). This year, its been a struggle, and the only people interested are from London, which means I've fewer people to pick from. Since its my home, I like to a bit picky, so thinking if I should drop the rent a bit or wait longer. Either way, there's definitely been a fall in demand in my area.

Fen Jen

10:29 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

I am in East London and there is definitely a dearth of Europeans looking for flat share in London. This is because the value of the £ has dropped so much and it is so expensive to live in London now even if you have good job. Their standard of living is better in their own country and most of them that were here have already paid for the their properties at home by working here for the last few years when the £ was high. The people who voted for Brexit have no understanding of how the economics of this country is going to suffer as a result combined with the landlord persecution by the government. Letting is a mugs game now so get out while you can.

Mark Lynham

10:41 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

for the first time since i cant remember when i have a few properties that are sticking, when they normally wouldnt (and im afraid i dont put it down to the time of year as i dont tend to find renting seasonal, unlike sales).. and its not just me in my area so something has definitely changed or is changing...im also having a few Easten European tenants vacating who are going back home, which i've never had..
Im also selling 2 of my own properties at the moment, 1 bedroom flats, and both are selling to First Time Buyers which typically would go to landlords..

Simon Williams

10:45 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

I let in London and Cambridge and there has absolutely been a drop off in European interest. The reasons are I think well known: the exchange rate; Brexit uncertainty; Improvements in the economy and unemployment rates of 'home' countries. There was also a bit of a supply spike when so many landlords rushed to buy ahead of the stamp duty changes.

The good news (for those of us staying in) is that demand is definitely picking up again and supply is dropping - in my areas at least. However, the profile has switched more to western European and wider global. I have a 12 bed house in Cambridge that used to be all European (many East). Now more mixed. Malaysians, Chinese, Indian making up some of the shortfall. No Eastern European at all at the moment.

You have to move with the market including upgrading property if necessary; re-assess your marketing strategy (Spareroom.com works well for me); consider a local council scheme (as a last resort) and if all else fails, sell. Supply is definitely dwindling overall, but not in all areas. The real exodus hasn't really started yet.

Gwen Davies

10:50 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

I’m wondering where your properties are situated? In South Wales we seem to have a shortage of rental properties. I’ve just rented a property and was inundated with enquiries.

Mick Roberts

11:10 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

Yes they are.

What happens at the top happens at the bottom & normally starts from the bottom.
If the Estate Agents are saying less Eastern Europeans are buying, then Voila.

And yes the Brexit uncertainty for them. Are they allowed to stop or not stop if buying a house or working & renting long term.

Your demand may be your house area which I don't know.
In Nottingham, you'd have block viewing of maybe 10 people waiting to move in.

Mark Alexander

11:11 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Gwen Davies at 20/08/2018 - 10:50
This particular one is in Cheshire

Stephen Reynolds

11:16 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

Can't say I really blame them. They are here to make money and if that changes why stay away from your family and friends. The uncertainty around Brexit and the fall in the value of the pound has changed the equation massively. One of the most annoying parts of the whole Brexit debacle is hearing people say "Oh they can just apply for a visa' Having had a large amount of contact with the home office over the last few years, I can assure anyone that dealing with them is one of the most frustrating processes I have ever encountered. They are the most incompetent a holes on the planet. Many of you have had to deal with selective licencing, imagine the same buffons having a say over where you can live, work and plan an economic future for your family. They cannot efficiently deal with the visa applications they have now. How on earth they are expected to process millions of applications before Brexit is inconceivable. Many of the Eastern European countries economies are picking up. One of the guys who works for me is building a home in Poland. 4 and 5 month lead times on trades and then half of the blokes are Romanian. I have had to increase pay rates substantially over the last 2 years to retain good workers.

Monty Bodkin

11:30 AM, 20th August 2018
About a month ago

Are Eastern Europeans Leaving The UK?
They are not migrating here as much as before but net migration of Eastern Europeans is slightly positive;
https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/statistics-net-migration-statistics/#create-graph

1 2

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

In it for the Long Run?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More