The Bedford Property Market and The Euro 2016 Football Tournament

With the Referendum on EU membership out of the way, our households can concentrate on something European that doesn’t involve party political broadcasts or politician’s treating us all like children – the Euro 2016 Football Tournament. Bedford is home to all different backgrounds and nationalities so if you’re not lucky enough to be jetting off to France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, have no fear! For a bit of fun (although there is a serious side to this – you know there would be with me!) I have taken a look at which European people live in Bedford so I know who to soak up the best atmosphere with!

During my research some interesting numbers appear. Going into the Euro 2016 tournament, France were 3/1 favourite’s, then Germany 7/2, third Spain 11/2, then England 9/1, Italy 16/1, Poland 50/1, Romania and Wales at 100/1, Ireland at 150/1 and Northern Ireland 500/1 (although Leicester were 5000/1 at the start of last season).

Of the 101,066 residents of the Bedford Constituency for Westminster, of the Home Nations going into the competition, 75,614 of them are from England, 711 from Wales, 473 from Northern Ireland and 945 from Ireland, although I do feel sorry for the 1,308 Scots who didn’t get into the finals. Now interestingly, looking at the Mainland Europeans residents in the Bedford Constituency, it might not surprise you that they make up 8.35% of the population as a whole in the Westminster area.

However, even more fascinating, of those 8.35% European’s residents, 3.16% are from Western Europe because EU residents from Eastern Europe – i.e. the Accession Countries to the EU between 2003 to 2007 (Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania) – make up 5.2% of the population of the Bedford Constituency.

Broken down into the relevant football teams, there are in the Bedford Constituency …

176 French people

473 Germans

1,946 Italians

116 Spanish

3,647 Poles

227 Romanians

… I feel sorry for the Spanish football supporters in Bedford!

But what does this have to do with the Bedford property market? Quite a lot in fact. Many of these European people were economic migrants, especially those from Eastern Europe. A lot of people’s concerns over migration are exaggerated as this EU migration has acted to fill gaps in skills and labour supply during growth periods of the mid 2000’s and subsequently over the last five years in Bedford, EU migrants have done little to displace native workers but do the jobs us Brits don’t often want to do. There is no preferential treatment for council housing in Bedford, so EU migrants have in fact increased demand for privately rented accommodation in Bedford.

This has meant as demand for housing in Bedford has remained strong, Bedford landlords have continued to buy properties to rent out to keep up with this demand. Therefore, the value of every homeowner’s property in Bedford has been kept high because of the demand from these Bedford landlords buying starter homes to rent out, releasing existing homeowners to go up the property ladder – benefiting everyone in the chain.

However, rents have remained relatively subdued, in Bedford rents are only 18.3 higher than they were in 2005, not bad when you consider we have had 38.52% inflation in the UK economy as a whole over the same 11 years.

EU migration has meant existing homeowners, landlords and the economy as a whole in Bedford (and the UK) have benefitted from better economic conditions, property prices not slumping whilst rents have been kept in check by wage inflation. Now I wonder who will win the footy? Back to the TV!

For more thoughts on the Bedford property market like this – visit the Bedford Property Blog