One election down. One to go, and this one’s personal.
Letting agents haven’t had a great time of things political of late. There have been a succession of policies, ranging from nuisance to down-right painful culminating in the tenant fee ban announcement.
All indications are that, irrespective of which party wins, we will be in for more of the same. The fee ban in particular seems universally popular across the major parties. Pointing to the fact that there is very little recognition of the economic value letting agents provide.
Letting agents are often overlooked, but we now represent a significant economic constituency, which candidates ahead of this election would do well to take into account.
According to Companies House more than one third of a million people are employed in one real estate / letting agency, property management or operation in the UK – generating more than £39 billion in 2015 alone.
Almost £40 billion. That’s the same as the cost of the PPI scandal, or the entire UK space industry. Or, more down-to-earth, the estimated value of all the oil in (so-called) marginal oil fields under the North Sea.
Enough to be taken seriously!
Additionally, the number of property related companies registering with companies house has been increasing month on month for a number years – implying that the value of letting agency is appreciating. Even if they are consistently unappreciated by politicians.
With the notable exception of last Spring, when a number of factors (including the EU referendum) created sufficient uncertainty to slow progress, the chart above shows just how extreme the growth in property companies has been – in this case just in terms of SIC 68209.
Combined with the value of our clients to the economy – read more about this over on the NLA’s blog – it is about that the business interests of letting agents were acknowledged by politicians seeking election.