Exeposé News Issue 634, Page 4 (5 February 2015) and Exeposé News online (6 February 2015)
Property owners in Exeter have reported “surprising” numbers of viewing and letting requests in the wake of last month’s Housing Fair, suggesting demand for housing is increasing.
Deborah and David Lister, owners of two houses on Exeter’s Clinton Avenue, told Exeposé they received 22 requests to view the properties after the Housing Fair, which took place in the Great Hall on Tuesday 13 January.
To minimise disruption for current tenants, the pair chose to hold an open day – and of the 16 viewings conducted, 14 groups confirmed they wished to take on a property.
“It was very difficult to choose amongst the groups,” they explained. “There is a high demand for well-priced decent accommodation. We have had more groups this year wanting to take on our two houses than after last year’s accommodation fair.”
However, noting that most groups “said they had seen some pretty grotty accommodation,” they added: “It may be the lack of quality accommodation that is driving an increased search to find something acceptable rather than lack of volume.”
Jacky Cottee, who owns a property on Monks Road, conducted 12 viewings on the evening of the Fair.
“We were surprised not just by how many viewings were generated by the fair, but also how many of those groups came forward wanting to take the house,” she commented. adding: “It was a shame to have to disappoint so many people.”
“We have always supported the “Don’t Rush” campaign and I have told students that there is enough accommodation out there, but supply does seem to be tighter this year than in recent years,” she told Exeposé.
Kate Hawkins, VP Welfare & Diversity, said: “The Housing Fair was extremely busy and I was glad to see that so many students had waited until January to start house hunting.
I will continue to encourage Exeter’s landlords to sign up to the AFS/Unipol accreditation scheme and will work with them to support students to find good quality, affordable accommodation. For those students who are still viewing properties, the Students’ Guild Advice Unit contract checking service is available for free.”