Way back in the mid 2000’s the majority of developments being designed and constructed were a balance of one and two bed properties, compared to today where the majority of the buildings are more towards two and sometimes three bedrooms. It made me think if similar things were still happening in the Boston property market?
This is a really important point as knowing when and where the demand of tenants is going to come from in the coming decade is just as important as knowing the supply side of the buy to let equation, in relation to the number of properties built in Boston, Boston property prices, Boston yields and Boston rents.
In 2001, there were 24,000 households with a population of 55,700 in the Boston Borough Council area. By 2011, that had grown to 27,300 households and a population of 64,600.
.. meaning, between 2001 and 2011, whilst the number of households in the Boston Borough Council area grew by 13.76%, the population grew by 15.94 %
Nothing surprising there then. My analysis of the 2011 Census results, using the most recent in-depth data on household formation (eg ‘one person households’, ‘couples/ family households’ or ‘couple + other adults households and multi -adult households’), has displayed a sudden and unexpected break with the trends of the whole of the 20th Century. There has been a seismic change in household formation in Boston between 2001 and 2011.
Between 2001 and 2011, the population of Boston grew, as did the number of Boston properties because of new home building. However, the growth rate of new properties built in Boston was much lower than expected though, but still the population has grown by what was expected, meaning the average household size was larger than anticipated in Boston. In fact, average household size (ie the number of people in each property) in 2011 was almost exactly the same as in 2001, the first time for at least 100 years it had not fallen between censuses. (Since 1911, household size has decreased by around 20% every decade).
Looking at figures specifically for Boston itself,
- One person households – 30.4%
- Couples/family households – 59.7%
- Couple + other adults/multi-adult households – 9.9%
This decline was reflected in large scale shifts in the mix of household types. In particular, there were far more “couple + other adults households and multi -adult households” than expected (9.9% is quite a lot of households). It can be put down to two things; increased international migration and changes to household formation. A particularly important reason for the difference can probably be attributed to the evidence that migrants initially form fewer households. Also, changes to household formation patterns, including adult children living longer with their parents and more young adults living in shared accommodation.
So, what does all this mean for Boston Homeowners and Landlords? Quite a lot in fact. There has been a subtle shift to slightly larger households in the last decade, meaning smart landlords might be tempted to buy slightly larger properties to rent out.
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