Why is there a shortage of rental property in Bournemouth ?

News at Homes & Steeple | 09/02/2023

Why is there a shortage of rental property in Bournemouth ?

In recent years, Bournemouth has experienced a steep rise in the demand for rental properties but has seen a sharp decline in rental property availability. This has resulted in a severe housing shortage in the area, presenting a major challenge for the local economy and its residents.

The primary cause of this rental crisis can be attributed to the rapid population growth in the area. Between 2011 and 2020, Bournemouth’s population increased by nearly 8%, driven primarily by a higher influx of young people looking to work or study in the region. This surge in demand for rental accommodation has been accompanied by an inadequate supply of new housing. This is due to a range of planning restrictions and other regulations which have limited the potential for new residential builds in the area. Despite rigorous attempts made by local authorities to increase the housing stock, this has not been enough to counter the dramatic rise in demand.

The impacts of the rental crisis have been wide-ranging and severe. With such limited availability of rental properties, competition for the few existing homes has been strong and rents are skyrocketing. In particular, young people and those on fixed or low incomes are enduring the greatest hardship as they are unable to compete with wealthier rival renters. The exorbitant costs of renting greatly outstrip what many people can afford, especially those on lower incomes. Consequently, many low-income earners in Bournemouth have been forced to reduce their non-essential expenditure, such as on food and entertainment, just in order to pay their rent.

The chronic shortage of rental housing has also begun to limit the local economy’s potential for growth. With hundreds of people unable to secure accommodation, many employers in the area are experiencing difficulty in finding enough workers to fill positions. This lack of personnel has hindered the area’s ability to expand and attract investment, having a particularly damaging effect on the commercial sector.

Given these alarming effects, it is evident that urgent action needs to be taken to address the rental property shortage in Bournemouth. To this end, local authorities must explore ways to better encourage and equip developers with the means to build more residential accommodation. In addition, tenant’s rights need to be strengthened in order to protect their interests and ensure they are able to secure safe and adequate housing. The various stakeholders must now come together and focus their attention on putting in place measures to successfully tackle this escalating problem.