Rising Rent Levels

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  • #39445
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Now that LHA cuts have been implemented will the Government retract its stubbornly held view that it’s high rates of HB which are driving up rent levels? (Rhetorical question)

    #112154
    John Boxall
    Participant

    When has evidence ever been used in policymaking?

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #112155
    Anthony Sandys
    Participant

    I imagine increasing rent levels will be descibed (in the same way as increasing unemployment) as “disappointing”. Whereas Housing Benefit exepnditure is “spiralling out of control”.

    #112160
    Kevin D
    Participant

    Funny how easily governments (or whatever political colour), commentators and welfare rights bodies so easily forget other reasons for rising HB expenditure. For example, the increase in premiums for pensioners well above inflation; the massively increased disregards for maintenance received; disregard of child benefit; massive increases in allowable child care costs. Whether or not such changes were morally right is neither here nor there; they happened and indisputably increased HB (and other benefit) expenditure. LHA was simply “another brick in the wall” and is the soft and easy target for headlines.

    As I might have said on ever so slightly more than one occasion before, governments simply don’t have a clue when it comes to running a sensible (affordable) benefits system. To paraphrase a lyric: “Everything changes; nothing changes”.

    #112161
    Lee Fearon
    Participant

    I seem to recall IDS trying to pass off the evidence linking increasing rents to LHA as coming from the ONS, when in fact, it was derived from the on-line comments of Daily Express readers.

    So, the fact that there’s no substance in it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. Cue Lord Freud telling us it doesn’t matter because we can make up the shortfall from the extra DHP funding we’re due to receive.

    #112168
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Thought this might be interesting https://lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/ListofRents.aspx?SearchResultsPageParameters=true&LocalAuthorityId=20&LHACategory=999&Month=10&Year=2011&SearchPageParameters=true&BrmaId=146

    I’ve chosen central london just because I thought it was interesting to see just how few properties are available at the capped LHA rates. You might want to look at the graphs for your area.

    The VOA should be the only source from which government get data about market rents. They collect loads of data for LHA calculation purposes, why isn’t it good enough for government to base policy decisions on ?

    #112170
    John Boxall
    Participant

    Interestingly enough the difference between the 30% & 50% level isnt that great – and the same applies to the other graphs I have seen.

    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the god of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and—and in short you are for ever floored.

    Wilkins Micawber, Ch12 David Copperfield

    #112176
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Just had a look at our LHA rates for April July and October 2011 unfortunately the graphs are only available for current month so no info about the shape of the curve changing.

    I would imagine that LHA rates are a good proxy as to whether rents generally are increasing particularly since the VOA would have us believe that the rents/properties used to calculate the rates are NOT occupied by benefit recipients. Don’t forget this is supposed to be the non benefit recipient market.

    The only LHA rate that has changed here between April and now is the One Bedroom rate. It was £75.00 in April £76.15 in July and £79.62 in October.

    That could indicate an increase in rent levels but I doubt it. The PCM rates are £325, £330 and £345 respectively. Looking at the graph for October the 30th percentile could so easily have been at £75 and may well revert back to that level very quickly.

    My conclusion is that rents are not rising here at the moment but that could be something peculiar to my area.

    What will happen between January and December 2012 when all those folk start moving, who knows ?

    #112177
    nickkeogh
    Participant
    #112188
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    Has anyone seen rents increasing in their area ? I know the press is suggesting that’s the case but is it ?

    Chose Oxford BRMA as a random comparison further south than here and presumably a little more affluent.

    shared and one bed hasn’t changed, 2 and 3 bed went up in July and then back down again in october. 4 bed reduced in October.

    There doesn’t appear to be any empirical evidence that supports the press. I accept I have only looked at two BRMA’s but I would expect to see some evidence to support the trends being described.

    #112190
    Lee Fearon
    Participant

    Julain

    My LA falls within inner east London, so probably not represenantive. But, at April 2011 only 4 bed accommodation was at the capped level. From Nov 2011 2, 3 and 4 bedroom rates are all at the capped levels.

    #112211
    David
    Participant

    As Julian mentioned Oxford LHA rates, I thought it would be worth adding that – on the day we hear rents are rising to their highest level – all the rates in Oxford LHA area for November are lower than in October(except 2 bed which stays the same).

    It does make me think how reliable the VOA figures are as it seems rents are only increasing in Oxford (altho’ to be fair the LHA area includes much of Oxfordshire – altho’ no indication they are reducing outside the city).

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