Is this a Problem or an Opportunity?
The orthodox way of classifying Colchester properties (and UK wide) is to count the number of bedrooms rather than the size of the house 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 property market, Colchester homeowners and Colchester landlords I talk to are always asking me which attributes and features are likely to make their Colchester properties comparatively more attractive and which ones may detract from the price. Over time, buyers’ and tenants’ wants and needs have changed. In Colchester, location is still the No. 1 factor affecting the value of property, and a property in the best neighbourhoods, say Stanway, Lexden or Kingsford 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 Colchester housing stock into bedrooms and type of property but, until now, I have never cross-referenced type against bedrooms. These figures for the Colchester Borough Council area make fascinating reading. It shows 81.3% of all properties in the area have 3 or more bedrooms.
Number of Bedrooms in Colchester Properties
I was genuinely surprised at the low numbers of one and two bed properties, especially 2 bed semis detached houses, especially because tenants like the smaller one and two bedroom Colchester properties. You see, it might interest the homeowners and landlords of Colchester, that there has been a change in the numbers of Colchester properties on the market and the split in bedrooms on the market over the last 12 months.
- 12 months ago, 92 one bed properties were for sale in Colchester, today 61 – a 34% drop
- 12 months ago, 265 two bed properties were for sale in Colchester, today 213, a 20% drop
- 12 months ago, 218 three bed properties were for sale in Colchester, today 247, a 13% rise
- 12 months ago, 144 four bed properties were for sale in Colchester, today 143, a 1% drop
- 12 months ago, 63 five + bed properties were for sale in Colchester, today 57, a 10% drop
For several years Colchester buy-to-let investors have been the only buyers at the lower end (starter homes) of the market, enticed by high tenant demand and attractive returns. Some Colchester 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 all is not lost for Colchester landlords, you can still pick up bargains, you just need to be a lot more savvy and do your homework.
If you’d like a second opinion on an investment property you are considering or would just like an informal chat about any aspect of Colchester properties in general please feel free to call me on 01206 862288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m happy to provide free feedback without obligation.
If you send me the hyperlink to the property from Rightmove or Zoopla I will usually respond within 24 hours. I am also happy to undertake free pre-purchase visits to your shortlist of potential properties to provide a rental valuation.