Managing Expectations when there are just not enough properties to go around
To celebrate this year's Scottish Housing Day the Build to Rent at Rettie & Co. are sharing their stories and what housing means to them.
With a 38 to 1 ratio of applicants to properties at our Western Harbour developments (Harbour Gateway and Harbour Point) inevitably there will be many disappointed applicants.
The popularity of the properties is understandable, the Newhaven area has changed beyond recognition in the last few years, there is a large variety of bars, restaurants, shops and other local facilities such as David Lloyd gym and spa, local nursery, indoor climbing centre to name a few. The much-photographed lighthouse at Newhaven Harbour is now the site for any cruise ships visiting the city to land its tenders, normally with a Piper in situ creating a festive atmosphere (one day we may witness this again)! A thoroughly pleasant place to live.
In addition to being situated in a great area the apartments are of the highest quality, larger than average living spaces with modern appealing décor and finishes make them even more appealing. Add to the mix the Mid-Market rent NHT initiative offering and the 3500 online submissions make sense.
The management of a list this size is a constant and ongoing task, many applicants wait for a long time in the hope of securing a property, the sheer volume of applicants means that a large number of people will not be offered a property in the first instance but with continuous updating and management there may be an opportunity further down the line to secure a property.
The turnover of these properties is way below average, since 2015 not one of the properties have been advertised, any new tenancies have come from the original application list.
On the positive side, as a company we have been able to demonstrate demand to the Scottish Ministers for good quality, affordable accommodation in Edinburgh. Plans for the next phase of affordable properties at Western Harbour are underway, the first properties are due to be complete 2021/22 although this timeline may have slipped due to the lockdown. Plans are full steam ahead now that work has resumed.