You’d be forgiven for assuming the bulk of renters are simply ‘biding their time’ until they can buy a house. But new research suggests tenants actually prefer the benefits of renting.
This is in sharp contrast to what’s often thought to be one of the main themes of the housing crisis – tenants being stuck in rental accommodation because they can’t afford to buy a home.
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It’s welcome news for landlords as it signals a strong supply of people wanting to rent their properties.
The research found that only 42 per cent of tenants are interested in buying in the near future.
Millennials are the keenest group, with 64 per cent aspiring to become homeowners, compared to only 13 per cent of those aged above 55.
The findings produced by buy-to-let lender Landbay delved into the mindset of 2,000 private renters across Britain.
They revealed that the flexibility of renting stood out as a key reason why tenants didn’t want to step onto the property ladder.
This was the case for a quarter of tenants, with six per cent planning to move to a new country, and five per cent planning to move to a new city or a new job.
Older tenants are the least interested in buying a home, with only 13 per cent of those aged above 55 aspiring to be a homeowner.
Less than half, at 46 per cent, of those aged between 35 and 44 years old are interested in home ownership, in contrast to 64 per cent of millennials aged between 25 and 34 years old.
Women versus men
There’s also a notable discrepancy between men and women, with 47 per cent of women keen to buy a home compared to only 34 per cent of men.
The research went on to suggest that women who want to buy are more likely than men to want to invest their money rather than pay rent – 48 per cent compared to 39 per cent – and make decorating decisions at 20 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
In addition, male aspiring homeowners are keen to have a connection to the local area at eight per cent, compared to four per cent of females. Having more space is a similar level of priority for both genders – 25 per cent of men versus 24 per cent of women.
The number of people planning to buy is highest in London at 48 per cent and Northern Ireland at 47 per cent.
Those in the South West and Wales are least likely, both coming in at 37 per cent. The research claimed this was surprising given the relatively low house prices in these areas.
Popularity of renting
John Goodall, Chief Executive of Landbay, said: “This research suggests that Britain’s enthusiasm for homeownership may be waning.
“Conversations around the private rental sector often assume the bulk of renters are simply biding their time until they can buy a house.
“However, the changing face of employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, and landlords should reflect this in their interactions with tenants.”
Does this research match your experience of being a landlord? Let us know in the comments below.