Surge of New Property Businesses During Pandemic

New Property – Latest data from Companies House shows growth in new businesses established for buying, selling and letting real estate 

31 January 2022, LONDON – The number of new companies established for the buying and selling (or ‘flipping’) of real estate was 43 percent higher last year compared to 2019, according to Companies House data collated and analysed by self-storage company, Access Self Storage.  

With over 58,000 companies incorporated in the past two years, this type of business is now second only to mail order and internet-based retail ventures in terms of popularity, climbing from fourth position in 2019. 

Furthermore, the number of new companies established for property letting was 32 percent higher last year compared to the last pre-pandemic figures, rising two places to third in the current list of most popular business types.  

Removal services are also experiencing a corresponding boom, with the data showing a 59 percent increase in the number of businesses operating in this space. 

On the whole, the number of new businesses launched in UK in 2021 was up 12 percent compared to two years prior. 

Full data tables can be found on the Access Self Storage website

Top five business types by total number of new companies incorporated in 2021:  

SIC code description New businesses incorporated in 2021 Percentage change since 2019 
Retail sale via mail order houses or via Internet 41,276 153% 
Buying and selling of own real estate 30,653 43% 
Other letting and operating of own or leased real estate 27,154 32% 
Management consultancy activities other than financial management 24,263 -19% 
Freight transport by road 23,128 15% 

Pandemic landlord, Ben Beckles, 26, who purchased a two-bedroom buy-to-let property in Bath last year said: “I wanted to invest in a tangible asset where there was a good potential return on investment. During the pandemic there was a lot of uncertainty and panic, so this felt like a good opportunity to find a good deal on a property below market value. I’ve never wanted to have all my money in the bank so investing has always been my way of thinking.” 

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Jonathan Rolande, property expert and founder of The National Association of Property Buyers, said: “With interest rates below 1% for many years, the 5% returns of an average buy-to-let property look very appealing. Add in the potential for capital growth and using property as an investment vehicle certainly has its benefits. Whether the current boom in the market continues is anyone’s guess but in the longer-term property has generally proved a good bet.”  

“Many would-be investors have been tempted to cash in early – some not even letting the home at all. If a reasonably priced property can be secured, and the market makes gains as seen previously, many have experienced increases of up to 10% just in the time it takes to complete the purchase of the property. This can amount to thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds. Flipping a property is a full-time occupation for many keen to realise gains now rather than wait for longer term growth. There are challenges though. Big rewards come with big risks – houses are expensive and one mistake can undo a lot of hard work.” 

Simon Daggett, Head of Marketing at Access Self Storage, commented: “We were keen to understand which types of businesses are being launched amidst what can only be described as a very uncertain economic environment. The trend towards Financial Independent, Retire Early (FIRE) ventures is clear, especially as people look to protect their financial futures. The data shows that buying, selling and letting property continues to be seen as one of the best ways achieving this goal.  

About Access Self Storage 

Access Self Storage offers self-storage, office rental and business services. With 58 sites nationwide, Access has the complete package for anyone wanting secure and affordable self storage. It also offers a wide range of unfurnished, flexible office spaces for small to medium-sized businesses that can be rented on short- or long-term contracts. 

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