15 Jul 21 by Kate Robertson

The pressure on the residential rental market in North Devon is set to become even greater with the heightened levels of interest in South West properties from outside the area.  The road widening of the A361, set to be completed by the end of 2023, is part of a plan to improve connectivity to North Devon and allow the development of up to 6700 new homes in the area, bringing some respite to the situation. In the meantime, more homes are desperately needed for locals to buy or to rent, but the rental market is particularly challenging at the moment with virtually nothing available to rent.

Prices in North Devon continue to rise, with Zoopla showing a rise in Croyde of over £90,000 (16.5% increase) and in Barnstaple of nearly £25,000 (9% increase) in just 12 months. With projects like the Roundswell Enterprise Park bringing in more employers and creating new jobs, housing is becoming an urgent issue.

‘Pressure on housing is coming from a number of factors all combining.’ Explained Samantha Johnson, Head of Valuation at Vickery Holman. ‘Houses are being bought as holiday lets or as second homes, pushing up prices in line with supply and demand. That makes it harder for people to get on the property ladder, so they look for rental properties. Those are now like gold dust, especially as more employers are moving to the South West for the quality of life it offers.’

Kate Robertson is a Graduate General Practice Surveyor for Vickery Holman in Devon. ‘We’ve seen unprecedented levels of enquiries for valuations right across North Devon. They have covered the full range of services from land, residential, industrial to commercial. However, residential development and redevelopment including HMO valuation surveys are still the highest demand showing people are continuing to see and expect the demand in residential to continue and are looking to capitalise on the value of their property and turn unused space and currently less profitable commercial buildings into residential offerings.’