Renters face record high bills while fighting homes shortage
RENTERS are being squeezed by record high bills and are still fighting over a shortage of homes.
Rents outside London are 10 per cent more expensive than a year ago at £1,278 a month, according to Rightmove.
More than three successive years of rocketing rent rises means it now costs £500 a month more to rent a home outside the capital compared to a decade ago when the average bill was £779.
This works out at £6,000 more a year, almost double the amount mortgage bills have risen.
Despite an exodus of city workers during the pandemic, renters in London face an intensely competitive market.
Rents there have risen by almost 12 per cent in the past year to a record £2,627 per month.
This has been blamed on the trickle-down effect of higher mortgage costs, which has priced some buyers out of the market and made it harder to save for a deposit.
Meanwhile, landlords are passing on higher mortgage costs to their tenants, resulting in rents increasing.
Property experts say some buy-to-let landlords are also pulling out of the market because of rising borrowing costs.
Across the country, the number of enquiries Rightmove’s website receives per property has gone from eight in 2019 to 25.
It says there are 41 per cent more tenants looking to move than in 2019, while the number of available homes has fallen 35 per cent.
Ria Laitmer, lettings manager at Clarkes, Dorset, says: “The gap between high demand and a severe shortage of rental stock at the moment is crazy. We’re receiving mounting enquiries for each property, with queues of tenants arriving to open-house viewings and the majority being left disappointed. There are not enough properties on the market to meet demand.”
Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said renters had a better chance of bagging a property by moving fast on viewings, being flexible with move-in dates and widening their area searches.
Battle to secure a property
RENTING today can only be described as a battlefield.
Between literal bidding wars with dozens of prospective tenants and queuing up on the streets to get a look at a tiny three-bedroom flat with one bathroom, it’s been exhausting.
Flats are listed for £2,500 a month, but at each viewing you’re warned to put in your “best and highest offer” of at least £2,700 but up to £3,100 just to be in the running.
We found ourselves offering £900 each for these flats with no room for a chest of drawers, let alone a double bed.
£1B off tobacco firms
ABOUT £1billion was wiped off tobacco firms yesterday after the Government said it would raise the age for buying cigarettes.
BAT, owner of Dunhill cigs and Vuse vapes, lost £600m when its shares fell 43.5p to £24.63.
Imperial Brands shed £340m.
Tesco slashing prices
THE boss of Tesco says food inflation is easing — and the store giant is slashing prices on staples from pasta to milk to be more competitive.
Although Britain’s biggest supermarket is cutting prices across 2,500 items to lessen the gap with discounters, boss Ken Murphy said he did not expect food to ever be as cheap as it used to be.
Mr Murphy said the grocer had seen “inflation come progressively down over the last six months”.
He added Tesco was negotiating with suppliers — from farmers to multinationals such as Unilever and Heinz — to pass lower costs on to shoppers.
But Mr Murphy cautioned the days of deflation — when prices fall — were over because some costs, such as higher wages, were now baked in.
Government plans to raise the living wage to £11-an-hour, mean payroll costs would not be dropping any time soon.
Mr Murphy said he felt consumers were in “relatively good shape”.
He noted shoppers had been treating themselves to Tesco’s premium Finest range, as well as enjoying savings on their own-brands lines.
His comments came as Tesco posted an 8.7 per cent rise in UK and Ireland sales to £28billion in the past six months.
Mr Murphy admitted much of this growth had come from higher prices — adding that Tesco had raised prices far more slowly than its rivals.
Pre-tax profits also trebled from £396million to £1.2billion after it was hit by an accounting charge last year.
Mr Murphy said Tesco would still only make 4p profit in the £1 this year — proof super-markets were not profiteering.
Scampi’s hike fear
SCAMPI dinners have been saved from even higher prices by the competition regulator.
A deal between seafood firms Whitby Seafoods and Kilhorne Bay Seafoods could “leave customers facing higher prices and lower quality products”, the Competition and Markets Authority said.
Whitby already controls 90 per cent of the breaded scampi market.
The firms now have to make concessions or face a six-week investigation.
Borrowing costs hit 25 year high
THE Government is facing the highest cost of borrowing on public debt for 25 years as bond markets around the world have turned.
The yield on 30-year government bonds, or gilts, hit 5.11 per cent yesterday.
Yields — the amount of interest demanded by investors for owning the bonds — rise when the price of a bond falls.
Unlike last year when UK gilts were pummelled after the mini Budget, there is a rout across global bond markets.
Economists believe central banks will have to keep interest rates higher and that inflation will remain stubborn.
In the US, Treasury yields went above 5 per cent yesterday before falling back to 4.87 per cent, around the same levels of risk as when American banks SVB and First Republic collapsed earlier this year.
Meanwhile in Germany the yield on benchmark 10-year bunds are back at levels last seen during the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
Car race crash
THE three-way takeover tussle for car dealership Pendragon has lost a bidder.
Hedin Mobility, which already has a 28 per cent stake in the firm, and US dealer Penske jointly offered 32p-a-share to take control of Pendragon in an offer valuing the company at £448million.
But they withdrew yesterday.
Two days ago US car group Lithia sweetened its price for a takeover of Pendragon’s UK showrooms to £397million.
Another US suitor, Auto-Nation, has offered £447million for the entire company.
£30million super deal
TROUBLED fashion brand Superdry had a welcome dose of good news yesterday.
The fashion retailer, which had been struggling with sliding sales, has sold its brand rights in South Asia to Indian retail giant Reliance.
Superdry will get a £30.4million cash boost and keep a 24 per cent stake in a joint venture which will focus on expansion across India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Shares in the company closed up 18.4 per cent at 51.4p yesterday, valuing the company at £50.3million.
Read Full Article