• Patrick Stappleton

42% of Bexhill Tenants are White Collar Middle Class

With young people in Bexhill-On-Sea still struggling to buy their own property and get on the property ladder, my research suggests just how important the role of the private rented sector has been at housing people has been in this town. This is especially at a time of increasing affordability problems for first time buyers, growing difficulties faced by social housing providers in their ability to secure funding from Westminster who also then have to compete against the likes of the Bovis’s and David Wilson’s of this world to be able to buy highly priced building land for new developments.

Renting isn’t like it was in the 1960’s and 70’s, where tenants couldn’t wait to leave their rack-rent landlords, charging sky-high rents for properties with Second World War wood chip wallpaper, no central heating and drafty windows. Since 1997 with the introduction of buy-to-let mortgages and a new breed of Bexhill landlord, the private rented sector in Bexhill has offered increasingly high quality accommodation for younger Bexhill households.


So whilst I knew in my own mind that the type and class of tenant has improved over the last 20 years, I had nothing to back that up until now. According to some detailed statistics from Durham University which has just been released, for the Rother District Council area, the current situation regarding social status of tenants shows some very interesting points. Using the well known Demographic ABC1 grade classifications which refers to the social grade definitions this is what I found out.

Of the 7,444 tenants who live in a private rented property in the Rother District Council area, 13.5% (or 1,001) of those tenants are classified in the AB category (AB category being higher and intermediate managerial / administrative / professional occupations), compared to 25.5% owner occupiers who own their property without a mortgage or 2% who rent their property from the local authority. Fascinating don’t you think?

Looking at the C1’s (C1’s being the Supervisory, clerical and junior managerial / administrative / professional occupations), of the already mentioned 7,444 tenants in the area, an impressive 2,128 of them are considered to be in the C1 category (or 28.5%). When compared with the owner occupiers who own their property without a mortgage, that figure stands at 33.9% whilst 16% rent their property from the local authority.  So, if we use the conventional measurements recorded by the white-collar “ABC1” i.e. middle class.

This means 42% of tenants are considered middle class in Bexhill


The fact is that private tenants are moving up the social ladder and whilst back in the 1960’s and 70’s, the private rented sector in Bexhill (and the rest of the UK) has customarily been viewed as a temporary tenure for 20 somethings before they bought a property.  The increase in renting in Bexhill, which I have talked about many times in the Bexhill Property Market Blog may be a reflection of increasing difficulty for this group in accessing other tenures, but may also be a reflection that people nowadays choose to rent long term instead of purchasing a property.

Bexhill Landlords need to be aware that tenants now demand more from their properties, their agent and their landlord and whilst affordability for first-time buyers and tighter controls on lending may mean that potential first-time buyers are in the private rented sector for longer, they will still pay ‘top dollar’ rent for a ‘top dollar’ property.

For more articles like this, please visit the Bexhill Property Market Blog which is www.bexhillpropertyblog.com

#Tenants #Landlords #Housing #Bexhill #Investment

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