Demand for HMOs rising



Half (48%) of landlords have seen growing demand for houses with multiple occupation (HMOs), suggesting that tenants are demanding better amenities.

The research, from mortgage lender Paragon, found that tenants particularly prioritise good quality broadband, which is perhaps unsurprising after the pandemic drove more people online.

Most landlords said demand for higher speed broadband had increased over the past year (56%), while a significant proportion of tenants were seeking larger rooms (39%), ensuite bathrooms (53%) and better-quality furnishings (39%). Some 35% of landlords said tenants were also asking for office facilities to enable working from home.

Richard Rowntree, managing director of mortgages at Paragon Bank, said: “HMOs used to be dogged by a reputation for poor quality housing, but that perception is shifting as landlords upgrade stock and meet the changing demand from tenants.

“Tenants will no longer accept poor quality; they want broadband, bathrooms, and better-quality furnishings.”

Demand for higher speed broadband had increased over the past year (56%), while a significant proportion of tenants were seeking larger rooms (39%), ensuite bathrooms (53%) and better-quality furnishings (39%). Some 35% of landlords said tenants were also asking for office facilities to enable working from home.

Paragon argued that the investment case for HMOs is compelling, as 47% of landlords with an HMO said they offered better rental yields than other residential rental property. Some 40% said HMOs offered better financial protection from voids.

Rowntree added: “We saw strong growth in demand from landlords to acquire HMOs during the pandemic.

“This may reflect the wider shortage in rental property with tenants opting for a room in a shared home because one- or two-bedroom properties are in short supply.

“Tenants also like the flexibility and social nature of HMOs, particularly if they are renting with friends.”

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Comments 1

  1. While demand for HMO’s might be rising I don’t think it is increasing because tenants are demanding “better amenities”. The demand is increasing out of necessity by tenants seeking to pay lower rents. Money no object, who would choose to live in a shared house with strangers (or friends for that matter) sharing at least some facilities like a kitchen?

    I know which I would prefer.

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