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Grainger pledges 'responsible' rent increases as it benefits from strong rental market

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Grainger promises ‘responsible’ rent increases as UK’s largest private landlord benefits from strong rental market

  • It reported like-for-like rental growth of 4.5% in the 11 months to the end of August
  • It was aided by a ‘buoyant’ rental market and ‘record’ occupancy rates
  • It pledged to take a ‘responsible approach’ to rent increases during a crisis

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Grainger has praised a ‘strong’ performance ahead of full-year results as it continues to benefit from rising property demand and rental prices.

Britain’s largest private landlord reported organic rental growth of 4.5 percent in the 11 months to the end of August, accelerating to 5.3 percent in the last five months of the period.

It said it was helped by a “buoyant” rental market and “record” levels of demand and occupancy, but it told investors Monday it will take a “responsible approach” to monitor rent increases given the cost of living crisis.

In the question: Grainger said inquiries about his apartments for rent from potential clients remained at record levels in the past 11 months

In the question: Grainger said inquiries about his apartments for rent from potential clients remained at record levels in the past 11 months

Rents are rising on the back of strong demand and weak supply, and are expected to continue rising in the coming year, putting even greater financial pressure on households.

Last month, Rightmove reported that the average rent outside London is 19 per cent higher than two years ago, from £949 per calendar month to a record £1,126.

Despite rising rental costs, Grainger said potential customer inquiries remained at record levels.

Chief executive Helen Gordon said momentum continued to accelerate across the company, growing 5.4 percent for new rentals and up 3.9 percent for renewals.

Founded more than a century ago in Newcastle, the FTSE 250-listed company is one of a relatively new group of landlords offering American-style complexes where residents pay rent and receive other services.

That can be anything from janitors, movie theaters and gardens to broadband, gyms and all the repairs that need to be done.

With a portfolio of around 10,000 homes, Grainger said it had a pipeline of another 10,000 build-to-rent blocks under construction worth £2.4bn.

In June, the group agreed to fund and buy the build-to-rent element of a Bristol development for £128 million.

Bristol’s ‘Redcliff Quarter’ comprises 374 private rental properties, as well as 94 affordable housing units and six commercial units.

Grainger said it offered free broadband and free gyms in its newest homes, as well as practical advice for tenants on how to reduce their energy use.

It has also given all its staff, except for the senior executive team, a one-time allowance of £1,000 for living expenses.

Gordon added: ‘Despite the vibrant rental market, we are very aware of the financial challenges many individuals face.

“We therefore deal with rent increases in a responsible manner, keeping affordability for our customers at the forefront and balancing rent increases with retention.”

Grainger shares rose 1.4 percent to 271p in afternoon trading on Monday.