Wednesday, 7 June 2017

What will the General Election do to 9,236 Canterbury Homeowners?

In Canterbury, of the 19,850 households, 5,148 homes are owned without a mortgage and 4,088 homes are owned by a mortgage. Many homeowners have made contact me with asking what the General Election will do the Canterbury property market?  The best way to tell the future is to look at the past.

I have looked over the last five general elections and analysed in detail what happened to the property market on the lead up to and after each general election. Some very interesting information has come to light. 

Of the last five general elections (1997, 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015), the two elections that weren’t certain were the last two (2010 with the collation and 2015 with unexpected Tory majority). Therefore, I wanted to compare what happened in 1997, 2001 and 2005 when Tony Blair was guaranteed to be elected/re-elected versus the last knife edge uncertain votes of 2010 and 2015 ... in terms of the number of houses sold and the prices achieved. 

Look at the first graph below comparing the number of properties sold and the dates of the general elections:


It is clear, looking at the number of monthly transactions (the blue line), there is a certain rhythm or seasonality to the housing market. That rhythm/seasonality has never changed since 1995 (seasonality meaning the periodic fluctuations that occur regularly based on a season - i.e. you can see how the number of properties sold dips around Christmas, rises in Spring and Summer and drops again at the end of the year). 

To remove that seasonality, I have introduced the red line. The red line is a 12 month ‘moving average’ trend line which enables us to look at the ‘de-seasonalised’ housing transaction numbers, whilst the yellow arrows denote the times of the general elections. It is clear to see that after the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections, there was significant uplift in number of households sold, whilst in 2010 and 2015, there was slight drop in house transactions (i.e. number of properties sold). 

Next, I wanted to consider what happened to property prices. In the graph below, I have used that same 12-month average, housing transactions numbers (in red) and yellow arrows for the dates of the general elections but this time compared that to what happened to property values (pink line).


It is quite clear none of the general elections had any effect on the property values.  Also, the timescales between the calling of the election and the date itself also means that any property buyer’s indecisiveness and indecision before the election will have less of an impact on the market. 

So finally, what does this mean for the landlords of the 5,955 private rented properties in Canterbury? Well, as I have discussed in previous articles (and just as relevant for homeowners as well) property value growth in Canterbury will be more subdued in the coming few years for reasons other than the general election. The growth of rents has taken a slight hit in the last few months as there has been a slight over supply of rental property in Canterbury, making it imperative that Canterbury landlords are realistic with their market rents. But, in the long term, as the younger generation still choose to rent rather than buy ... the prospects, even with the changes in taxation, mean investing in buy-to-let still looks a good bet.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Canterbury Rents To Rise Quicker Than Canterbury Property Prices In Next 5 Years

The next five years will see an interesting change in the Canterbury property market. My recent research has concluded that the rent private tenants pay in Canterbury will rise faster than Canterbury property prices over the next five years, creating further issues to Canterbury's growing multitude of renters. In fact, my examination of statistics forecasts that ...

By 2022, Canterbury rents will increase by 23%, whereas Canterbury property values will only grow by 16%.

Let me explain why I have come to those conclusions:

Over the last five years, property values in Canterbury have risen by 43% whilst rents have only risen by 9.4%.

Throughout the last few years, and compounded in 2016, tenant demand for rental properties continued to go up whilst the Press predicted some landlords expect to reduce their portfolios in the next couple of years, meaning Canterbury tenants will have fewer properties to choose from, which will push rents higher. In fact, talking to fellow property professionals in Canterbury, there appears to be a shortage of new rental properties coming on to the Canterbury lettings market.

Landlords have some intriguing challenges ahead of them in the coming years most notably in that the Tory’s have changed the taxation rules for landlords in the way buy to let properties are to be taxed. On top of that, there is the ban on letting agent fees which is still to come into force (probably in 2018). When that happened in Scotland in 2012, Scottish letting agents passed on those fees to their landlords, who in turn increased the rent they charged to their tenants.

All I would say to Theresa May and Philip Hammond is that they must be wary about indicating both red and green lights at the same time to the private rented sector. They can’t expect the armies of small private landlords to continue to house around a fifth of the population and then tax the hell out of them. They didn’t invest in buy to let as a charity or to satisfy any philanthropic urges. Something has to give – and that will be significant rent rises over the coming few years (and before anyone gives me any derogatory comments about landlords … if it wasn’t for landlords buying all these buy to let properties over the last 15 years, I am not sure where everyone would be living today – because most the Council houses were sold off in the 1980’s!).

With the challenges ahead, with the ‘B’ word (that’s budget if you wondered!), house price inflation will be tempered over the coming five years in Canterbury. As I have discussed in previous articles, the number of properties on the market in Canterbury remains close to historic lows, which is both good as it keeps houses prices relatively stable, yet not so good as it impedes choice for buyers… and hence why I believe property values in Canterbury will only be 16% higher in five years’ time.

Whilst on the other side of the coin, with the challenges facing landlords and the significant shortage of new homes being built, Canterbury people still need somewhere to live. If those people aren’t buying houses and the local authority aren’t building council houses in there thousands (because they have no money), with the average rent for a Canterbury rental property currently standing at £1,318 per month …

Over the next five years, I predict the average rent in Canterbury will rise to £1,621 per month

These are interesting times. There is still money to be made in buy to let in Canterbury – Canterbury landlords will just need to be smarter and more savvy with their investments. If you are looking for such advice and opinion to help you meet those investment goals, please get in touch.  

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Only 290 Properties For Sale in Canterbury

2017 has started with some positive interest in the Canterbury property market. Taking a snap shot of the Canterbury property market for the first quarter of 2017, the picture suggests some interesting trends when it comes to the number of properties available to buy, their asking prices and what prices properties are actually selling for.

Let us first consider the number of properties for sale, compared to 12 months ago:

Type of Canterbury Property
Number of Properties on the Market 12 months ago
Number of Properties on the Market now
% change




So when we add in building plots and other types of properties that don’t fit into the four main categories, that means there are 290 properties for sale today compared with 288 a year ago, a rise of 1%.

Next, Canterbury asking prices, compared to last Spring, are 6% higher.

With that in mind, I wanted to look at what property was actually selling for in Canterbury. Taking my information from the Land Registry, the last available six months property transactions for CT1 show an interesting picture (note the Land Registry data is always a few months behind due to the nature of the house buying process and so November 2016 is latest set of data). The price shown is the average price paid and the number in brackets is the number of properties actually sold.

£0 (0)
£424,500 (7)
£531,125 (2)
£484,333 (9)
£563,333 (6)
£539,965 (5)
£271,600 (10)
£268,333 (3)
£285,857 (7)
£308,880 (10)
£290,688 (8)
£331,600 (5)
£317,409 (11)
£270,722 (9)
£286,312 (16)
£278,508 (12)
£281,321 (14)
£292,063 (12)
£176,790 (5)
£210,880 (20)
£196,531 (16)
£193,625 (12)
£210,077 (13)
£220,875 (12)
£272,748 (26)
£267,451 (39)
£263,139 (41)
£304,962 (43)
£301,829 (41)
£309,208 (34)

So what does all this mean for the property owning folk of Canterbury?

Well, with a similar number of properties on the market as a year ago and asking prices 6% higher, those trying to sell their property need to be mindful that buyers, be they first time buyers, buy to let landlords or people moving up the Canterbury property ladder, have much more price information about the Canterbury property market at their fingertips than ever before.

Those Canterbury people who are looking to sell their property in 2017, need to be aware of the risks of over pricing their property when initially placing it on the market. Over the last 12 months, I have noticed the approach of a few Canterbury estate agents is to suggest an inflated asking price to encourage the homeowner and secure the property to sell on their books. The down side to this is that when offered to the market for the first time, buyers will realise it is overpriced and wont waste their time asking for a brochure. They won’t even view the property, let alone make an offer. So when the price is reduced a few months later, the property has become market stale and continues to be ignored.

Whilst the Canterbury property-market has an unassailable demand for property – there is one saying that always rings true - as long as the property is being marketed at the right price it will sell.

If you want to know if your Canterbury property is being marketed at the right price, send me a web link and I will give you my honest opinion.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend, only 11 days until the next bank holiday weekend!

Today’s property caught my eye as I have often driven past the property on the way to work and have been intrigued by the unusual shape of the building.

The property is located on Hollow Lane which is easy walking distance to Canterbury City Centre and also benefits from free on street parking. The property is currently rented as a student property with a potential yield of 6.08%. This is worked out on a monthly income of £1520.00pcm.

From looking at the photos I would agree with the description that this is a high quality student let needing little to no work prior to renting it out.

If you are interested in this property one thing to double check with the Estate agent Charles Bainbridge is if there is secure tenants until June 2018.

‘Flipping’ Heck - Canterbury Property Values Rise by £49.89 a day

Investing in Canterbury buy to let property is different from investing in the stock market or depositing your hard-earned cash in the Building Society. When you invest your money in the Building Society, this is considered by many as the safe option but the returns you can achieve are awfully low (the best 2-year bond rate from Nationwide is a whopping 0.75% a year!). Another investment is the Stock Market, which can give good returns, but unless you are on the phone every day to your Stockbroker, most people invest in stock market funds, making the investment quite hands off and one always has the feeling of not being in control.

However, with buy to let, things can be more hands on. One of the things many landlords like is the tactile nature of property - the fact that you can touch the bricks and mortar. It is this factor that attracts many of Canterbury’s landlords – they are making their own decisions rather than entrusting them to city whizz kids in Canary Wharf playing roulette with their savings.

I always say investing in property is a long-term game. When you invest in the property market, you can earn from your investment in two ways. When a property increases in value over time, this is known as ‘capital growth' which we know has been strong in recent times in Canterbury. The second way you can benefit is the rental income which will also grow over time. If you divide the annual rent into the value (or purchase price) of the property, this is your yield, or annual return. So, over the last 5 years, an average Canterbury property has risen by £91,050 (equivalent to £49.89 a day), taking it to a current average value of £339,800. By adding this to the rental income that could be earned can easily see returns of 10% per annum which I think you will agree is substantially above the aforementioned 0.75%.

However, something I haven’t spoken of before is the more specialist area of flipping property to make money. (flipping - buying a property, carrying out some minor cosmetics and re selling it quickly).  I have seen several investors recently who have made decent returns from this strategy. For example …

One Canterbury Investor paid £190,000 for a 3 bed terrace on Chestnut Drive in February 2015. It appears some cosmetic work was done to the property and it was resold a few months ago (November 2016) for £275,000 … 44.74% return before costs 

This demonstrates how the Canterbury property market has not only provided very strong returns for the average investor over the last five years but how it has permitted a group of motivated buy to let Canterbury landlords and investors to become particularly wealthy.

As my article mentioned a few weeks ago, more and more Canterbury people may be giving up on owning their own home and are instead accepting long term renting whilst buy to let lending continues to grow from strength to strength. If you want to know what (and what would not) make a decent buy to let property in Canterbury, then please get in touch.  

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

1 Bedroom Flat 5.47% yield

Morning, where has the sun gone? Hopefully it is hiding away ready for that sunny Easter weekend…

This week’s property is a smaller but perfectly located 1 bedroom apartment! The property is on the market with Miles and Barr and has been on the market since December 2016.

The property is located just off Gordon Road behind Canterbury East Station so is the perfect location for those needing access to London. 1 Bedroom properties are in high demand in Canterbury and are very popular with young working professionals. The property also comes with that rarely seen allocated parking space!

Although the property is on the market with a guide price of £160,000 - £180,000 this property can still achieve a yield of 5.47% if bought at £170,000. This is worked out on a projected rental income of £775.00 pcm.

The property generally looks in good condition so should be good to rent out straight away!

Go on, take a look!

How The Rented Sector Has Transformed The Property Market In Canterbury

The Canterbury housing market has gone through a sea change in the past decades with the Buy-to-Let (B-T-L) sector evolving as a key trend, for both Canterbury tenants and Canterbury landlords.

A few weeks ago, the Government released a White Paper on housing. I have had a chance now to digest the report and wish to offer my thoughts on the topic. It was interesting that the private rental sector played a major part in the future plans for housing. This is especially important for our growing Canterbury population.

In 1981, the population of Canterbury stood at 122,200
and today it stands at 160,000.

Currently, the private rented (B-T-L) sector accounts for 30% of households in the city.  The Government want to assist people living in the houses and help the economy by encouraging the provision of quality homes, in a housing sector that has grown due to worldwide economic forces, pushing home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. Interestingly, when we look at the 1981 figures for homeownership, a different story is told.

68.18% Canterbury people owned their own home in 1981
19.62% Canterbury people rented from the Council or Housing Association in 1981 and 12.19% Canterbury rented from a Private Landlord      

The significance of a suitable housing policy is vital to ensure suitable economic activity and create a vibrant place people want to live in. With the population of Canterbury set to grow to 187,000 by 2037 – it is imperative that Canterbury City Council and Central Government all work actively together to ensure the residential property market doesn’t hold the area back, by encouraging the building and provision of quality homes for its inhabitants.

One idea the Government has proclaimed is a variety of measures aimed at encouraging the Build-to-Rent (B-T-R) sector (instead of the B-T-L sector). These include allowing local authorities to proactively plan for B-T-R schemes, and making it simpler for B-T-R developers to offer inexpensive private rented homes.

To do this, the government will invent a distinct affordable housing class for B-T-R, called ‘Affordable Private Rent’, which will oblige new homes builders to provide at least 1 in 5 of a new home developments at a 20% discount on open-market rents and three year tenancies for tenants. In return, the new homebuilders will get better planning assurances.

Private landlords will not be expected to offer discounts, nor offer 3-year tenancies – but it is something Canterbury landlords need to be aware of as there will be greater competition for tenants.

Over the last ten years, home ownership has not been a primary goal for young adults as the world has changed. These youngsters expect ‘on demand’ services from click and collect, Amazon, Dating Apps and TV with the likes of Netflix. Many Canterbury youngsters see that renting more than meets their accommodation needs, as it combines the freedom from a lifetime of property maintenance and financial obligations, making it an attractive lifestyle option.

Private rented housing in Canterbury, be it B-T-L or B-T-R, has the prospective to play a very positive role. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

2 Bedroom House, Great BTL!

Morning all!

Well it looks like spring has finally sprung, I’m keeping everything crossed it hangs around long enough for us all to enjoy a sunny Easter weekend!

As ever I have been keeping a close eye on the Canterbury property market and have come across an ideal student let, a 2-bedroom house currently for sale with Page & Co.

The property is located on Whitstable Hill which is a much sought-after location for students attending Kent University.

Currently on the market for an asking price of £230,000 it already has secured tenancy until June 2018 at a monthly rent of £1200.00pcm generating an impressive yield of 6.26%!!

In my experience with the student market, 2 bed properties never hang around for long, and are usually the first to go in the student cycle!

So, act fast and get a viewing booked for what will most likely end up being yet another rainy Easter break!

This one is worth a look at:

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Canterbury’s ‘Generation Trapped’ and the £3.13bn legacy

Last week, I wrote an article on the plight of the Canterbury 20 something’s often referred to by the press as ‘Generation Rent’. Attitudes to renting have certainly changed over the last twenty years and as my analysis suggested, this change is likely to be permanent. In the article, whilst a minority of this Generation Rent feel trapped, the majority don’t – making renting a choice not a predicament. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicted that the private rental sector is likely to grow substantially by 1.8m households across the UK in the next 8 years, with demand for rental property unlikely to slow and newly formed households continuing to choose the rental market as opposed to buying.

However, my real concern for Canterbury homeowners and Canterbury landlords alike, as I discussed a couple of months ago, is our mature members of the population of Canterbury. In that previous article, I stated that the current OAP’s (65+ yrs in age) in Canterbury were sitting on £1.49bn of residential property ... however, I didn’t talk in depth about the ‘Baby Boomers’, the 50yr to 64yr old Canterbury people and what their properties are worth – and more importantly, how the current state of affairs could be holding back those younger Generation Renters.

In Canterbury, there are 2,189 households whose owners are aged between 50yrs and 64yrs and about to pay their mortgage off. That property is worth, in today’s prices, £746.8m. There are an additional 2,617 mortgage free Canterbury households, owned by 50yr to 64yr olds, worth £892.8m in today’s prices, meaning...

Canterbury Baby Boomers and Canterbury OAP’s are sitting
on £3.13bn worth of Canterbury Property

These Canterbury Baby Boomers and OAP’s are sitting on 9,175 Canterbury properties and many of them feel trapped in their homes, and hence I have dubbed them ‘Generation Trapped’.

Recently, the English Housing Survey stated 49% of these properties owned by the Generation Trapped, as I have dubbed them, are ‘under-occupied’ (under-occupied classed as having at least two bedrooms more than needed). These houses could be better utilised by younger families, but research carried out by the Prudential suggest in Britain it’s estimated that only one in ten older people downsize while in the USA for example one in five do so.

The growing numbers of older homeowners who want to downsize their home are often put off by the difficulties of moving. The charity United for all Ages, suggested recently many are put off by the lack of housing options, 19% by the hassle and cost of moving, 14% by having to declutter their possessions and 14% by family reasons such as staying close to children and grandchildren.

Helping mature Canterbury (and the Country) homeowners to downsize at the right time will also enable younger Canterbury people to find the homes they need – meaning every generation wins, both young and old. However, to ensure downsizing works, as a Country, we need more choices for these ‘last time buyers’.

Theresa May and Philip Hammond can do their part and consider stamp duty tax breaks for downsizers, our local Council in Canterbury and the Planning Dept. should play their part, as should landlords and property investors to ensure Canterbury’s ‘Generation Trapped’ can find suitable property locally, close to friends, family and facilities. 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

‘Generation Rent (Forever)’ – 6,509 Canterbury Tenants have no intention of ever buying a property to call home

The good old days of the 1970’s and 1980’s eh … with such highlights lowlights as 24% inflation, 17% interest rates, 3 day working week, 13% unemployment, power cuts ... those were the days (not)… but at least people could afford to buy their own home. So why aren’t the 20 and 30 something’s buying in the same numbers as they were 30 or 40 years ago?

Many people blame the credit crunch and global recession of 2008, which had an enormous impact on the UK housing market. Predominantly, the 20 something first-time buyers who, confronting a problematic mortgage market, the perceived need for big deposits, reduced job security and declining disposable income, discovered it challenging to assemble the monetary means to get on to the property ladder.

However, I would say there has been something else at play other than the issue of raising a deposit - having sufficient income and rising property prices in Canterbury. Whilst these are important factors and barriers to homeownership, I also believe there has been a generational change in attitudes towards home ownership (and in fact the rest of the Country).

Back in 2011, the Halifax did a survey of thousands of tenants and 19% of tenants said they had no plans to buy a home for themselves. A recent, almost identical survey of tenants, carried out by The Deposit Protection Service revealed, in late 2016, that figure had risen to 38.4%, with many no-longer equating home ownership to success and believing renting to be better suited to their lifestyle.

You see, I believe renting is a fundamental part of the housing sector, and a meaningful proportion of the younger adult members of the population choose to be tenants as it better suits their plans and lifestyle. Local Government in Canterbury (including the planners – especially the planners), land owners and landlords need an adaptable residential property sector that allows the diverse choices of these 20 and 30 year olds to be met.

This means, if we applied the same percentages to the current 16,951 Canterbury tenants in their 5,955 private rental properties, 6,509 tenants have no plans to ever buy a property – good news for the landlords of those 2,287 properties. Interestingly, in the same report, just under two thirds (62%) of tenants said they didn’t expect to buy within the next year.

.. but does that mean the other third will be buying in Canterbury in the next 12 months?

Some will, but most won’t … in fact, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) predicts that, by 2025, that the number of people renting will increase, not drop. Yes, many tenants might hope to buy but the reality is different for the reasons set out above.  The RICS predicts the number of tenants looking to rent will increase by 1.8 million households by 2025, as rising house prices continue to make home ownership increasingly unaffordable for younger generations.  So, if we applied this rise to Canterbury, we will in fact need an additional 2,552 private rental properties over the next eight years (or 319 a year) … meaning the number of private rented properties in Canterbury is projected to rise to an eye watering 8,507 households.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Canterbury First Time Buyers borrow £58.1m in the last 12 months

Starting with the bigger picture, over the last 12 months in the UK, 1,061,557 properties were sold with a total value of £223.74 bn. To give that some context, ten years ago 1,581,727 properties sold with a total value of £405.56bn, so it can be seen the number of people moving house has dropped by over a third over the last decade.

Whether you are a landlord, homeowner or tenant, it’s always important to keep an eye on the Canterbury property market, not just from your point of view, but also from every player’s point of view. Over the last 12 months, 1,210 properties have sold (and completed) in Canterbury, worth £362.7m. Interestingly the number of properties changing hands in Canterbury has also dropped when compared to a decade ago.

It might surprise you that first time buyers in 2017 will benefit from a slight decline in Canterbury buy-to-let investors.

Those looking to buy a home in the spring and summer of 2017 will face a far less competitive Canterbury property market than the same time of year in 2016, when the urgency to beat the buy-to-let stamp duty hike was in full swing.  

Many landlords brought forward their purchases to beat the tax, and since then, the number of buy-to-let purchases has dropped slightly. First time buyers have taken advantage of that and have increased their buying. In fact, looking at the Bank of England figures, this is what UK lenders have lent on buy-to-let properties versus first time buyers over the last 12 months  …

Q4 2015 - £1bn buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.31bn for first time buyers
Q1 2016 - £1.35bn buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.08bn for first time buyers
Q2 2016 - £760m buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.28bn for first time buyers
Q3 2016 - £827m buy-to-let mortgages vs £1.42bn for first time buyers

When looking at the figures for Canterbury itself, first time buyers have borrowed more than £58.1m in the last 12 months to buy their first home. This is a ringing endorsement of their confidence in their jobs and the local Canterbury economy. Those 20 and 30 something’s who are considering being first time buyers in 2017 will find that the number of properties on the market has never been as good as it has for quite a while, meaning you have more choice of properties and less competition from so many buy-to-let landlords than a year ago.

Rightmove announced nationally that new seller enquiries are 26% up on the same time last year giving the stoutest indication that we may see a slight ease in the lack of properties on the market. When I look at the Canterbury market, at this moment in time there are an impressive 267 properties for sale, (so lots of choice). All this will be welcome news amongst Canterbury first-time buyers with a combination of a proportional reduction in new investors and landlords.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

With 16,951 people in Private Rented Properties in Canterbury - Should you still be investing in Canterbury Buy To Let?

If I were a buy to let landlord in Canterbury today, I might feel a little bruised by the assault made on my wallet after being (and continuing to be) ransacked over the last 12 months by HM Treasury’s tax changes on buy to let. To add insult to injury, Brexit has caused a tempering of the Canterbury property market with property prices not increasing by the levels we have seen in the last few years. I think we might even see a very slight drop in property prices this year and, if Canterbury property prices do drop, the downside to that is that first time buyers could be attracted back into the Canterbury property market; meaning less demand for renting (meaning rents will go down). Yet, before we all run for the hills, all these things could be serendipitous to every Canterbury landlord, almost a blessing in disguise.

Canterbury has a population of 47,941, so when I looked at the number of people who lived in private rented accommodation, the numbers astounded me …

Canterbury - Accommodation Type and the Number of Occupiers
Owned outright - Canterbury
Owned with a mortgage - Canterbury
Shared ownership (part owned and part rented) - Canterbury
Social rented (aka Council Housing) -  Canterbury
Private rented - Canterbury
Living rent free - Canterbury

Yields will rise if Canterbury property prices fall, which will also make it easier to obtain a buy to let mortgage, as the income would cover more of the interest cost. If property values were to level off or come down that could help Canterbury landlords add to their portfolio. Rental demand in Canterbury is expected to stay solid and may even see an improvement if uncertainty is protracted. However, there is something even more important that Canterbury landlords should be aware of: the change in the anthropological nature of these 20 something potential first time buyers.

I have just come back from a visit to my relations after a family get together. I got chatting with my nephew and his partner.  Both are in their mid/late twenties, both have decent jobs in Canterbury and they rent. Yet, here was the bombshell, they were planning to rent for the foreseeable future with no plans to even save for a deposit, let alone buy a property. I enquired why they weren’t planning to buy? The answers surprised me as a semi mature person, and it will you. Firstly, they don’t want to put cash into property, they would rather spend it on living and socialising by going on nice holidays and buying the latest tech and gadgets. They want the flexibility to live where they choose and finally, they don’t like the idea of paying for repairs. All their friends feel the same. I was quite taken aback that buying a house is just not top of the list for these youngsters.

So, as 35.4% of Canterbury people are in rented accommodation and as that figure is set to grow over the next decade, now might just be a good time to buy property in Canterbury – because what else are you going to invest in?  Give your money to the stock market run by sharp suited city whizz kids – because at least with property – it’s something you can touch - there is nothing like bricks and mortar!