The Inside Edge
Well if we need another housing market survey then why not one from Gumtree?
Gumtree claim to be ‘the only site to embrace listings from all types of property owners’ (obviously no-one’s told them about fish4homes which has 340,000 homes fror rent and sale from estate agents and individuals) but nevertheless have a good set of data collected from advertisers on their site.
Last month Gumtree released their Rental Price Index with a foreword from TV property expert Phil Spencer who said: ‘…the Gumtree.com Rental Price Index offers an up-to-date indicator of the rental sector(and) gives a good sense of what current price brackets for different sizes of property are.’
The report describes itself as a ‘detailed analysis of website data’ which we assume means data solely from Gumtree adverts which then follows that the data represents asking prices rather than actual achieved rents – nevertheless a good indicator you might say.
According to the report quarterly listings have increased by 99,000 in London and the inference is that there are more properties on the market to rent, however this could equally mean that gumtree is just becoming more popular. And with the rise in number of private landlords who may well advertise their properties on Gumtree (either directly or through an agent) this could well be the case.
It is interesting to see which towns have seen rental asking price increases (Oxford 6%, Dublin 3.7%) and which have seen further falls (Bristol -0.6%, Newcastle -0.9%) but there are too many other variables to draw solid conclusions. For example how much have these rents fallen previously and are they just making back lost ground or charging ahead? You also have to wonder how representative a sample the Gumtree advertised rental prices are of the wider market – especially with the recent concerns over the amount of scam adverts found on Gumtree of late.
The limited nature of the data leads to a leap in conclusions drawn, one example being that a 3.5% decrease in rental price makes Paisley (or any of the other towns with rental decrease) ‘a great destination for tenants to find good value properties and potentially save on rent’. This is meaningless when you don’t know where they started or the affordability of renting compared with buying in these areas and other cost of living and factors that determine where people want to live.
The best conclusion to be drawn from the Gumtree Rental Price Index is that London rental prices are just plain frightening to anyone living outside of London. The average rent for a 1 bed property was £947 pcm compared with £395 pcm in Coventry and Leicester.
List your house for sale or rent privately on thebigpropertylist.co.uk