More People In The UK Want The Flexibility Of Renting A Home

Many people in the UK have decided that the would rather have the flexibility of renting a home than being tied to owning a property

Approximately, of the estimated 17 million renters in the UK, 70% or 12 million adults, have no plans to purchase a property, according to the study from landlord insurer Direct Line for Business.

This suggests that Britain is moving towards a housing model like the one in Germany, with a greater percentage of the population renting leading to future generations doing the same.

Analysis says that the average price paid by first time buyers in 2017 was £207,693, over 50% higher than five years previously when the same property would have cost on average £138,663. This is an increase of nearly £70,000, or £1,150 every month.

While affordability is cited as a reason for people choosing not to purchase their home, 22% of those said that they simply don’t want the financial commitment that comes with home ownership.

For others, the the incentive to rent is flexibility, with 9% wanting to be free to travel and 8% not wanting to be tied to an  area.  22% of those not planning to buy think the cost of maintaining a property is too high and would rather have a landlord deal with any issues that may arise.

Despite London’s fast growing property market, which has seen prices rise by more than £12,000 in the past year, the capital is the region people expect to spend the shortest time renting before buying a home. The average Londoner expects to spend under 12 years renting compared to the UK average of 15 years and two months.

Looking on a regional basis, Scotland currently has the highest proportion renters at 43% while the West Midlands has the lowest at 21%. Across the whole of the UK, London has the highest number of renters, with 2.7 million tenants accounting for 16% of all British renters.

‘The UK housing market continues to change and we are seeing a major attitudinal shift when it comes to renting. While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property rather than jumping into home ownership,’ said Christina Dimitrov, business manager at Direct Line for Business.

‘In line with the greater demand for rental properties, the Government has introduced tougher controls and regulation. Recent legislative changes mean landlords have stringent guidelines to adhere to in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of their tenants. It is important that landlords ensure all of their properties are adequately insured to minimise distress to them and their tenants should something go wrong,’ she added.

Legislative changes to protect renters include The Electrical Safety Standards in the private sector to ensure minimum safety levels. In June 2020 The Tenant Fees Act was extended to include previously excluded properties – tenancies and letting agreements pre-dating 1st June 2019. The aim is to provide safe and fair rental and letting properties and ensure that tenants are both treated fairly and not subject to excessive and unfair fees.

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