Majority of tenants choose renting a home over buying

Majority of tenants choose renting a home over buying

For a long time, renting was often regarded as a short-term living solution until you were in a position to buy a home of your own. However, recent research has suggested that attitudes towards renting are starting to look a lot different.

A new survey carried out by the buy to let mortgage lender Landbay looked at the opinions and habits of 2000 UK tenants. The overall consensus from the survey was that the majority of tenants were happy to continue renting for the foreseeable future.

Of the 2000 respondents, 75% of tenants were content with renting their homes and 33% said that they were more than happy to continue doing so for the rest of their lives. The survey also looked at the prospect of owning a home across a variety of age ranges. As expected, younger tenants were more eager to get on the housing ladder than older tenants aged 55 and over – Just under a third of tenants aged 35 to 55 were happy to continue renting for life, whereas 64% of over 55s said that they were content to not own a home of their own.

Finally, when tenants were asked what their motivations to continue renting were, the most popular reasons given were that they didn’t want the financial commitment of owning a property and they didn’t want the responsibility of maintaining their own property. Flexibility was also a key reasoning, with 33% of respondents saying that they preferred the flexibility of renting a property.

These results are just a small taste of a wider shift in attitudes towards renting – not only are more people choosing to rent out of choice, they’re also choosing to rent on a more long-term basis, which is putting even more strain on the already limited stock of rental accommodation in the UK.

The lack of rental stock is also a growing issue in the UK private rented sector. Recent research from the Residential Landlord Association (RLA) has revealed that the rental housing supply in the private rented sector has dropped by 31% in the last 12 months and at the same, the demand for rental accommodation has increased by 25%.

It certainly seems that renting is more suitable to the modern lifestyle and the increase in demand is putting a strain on the already limited rental stock available in the UK. John Goodall, CEO of Landbay, said: ‘Renting affords significantly greater flexibility than homeownership and, at a time when house price growth is uncertain, remains the best option for a significant number of people. It’s clear from this data that those who choose to rent are happy doing so, and indeed would like to continue doing so forever.’

‘The financial hurdle of home ownership is for many too great a stretch and frankly they don’t want to make the commitment. The reality is owning a home isn’t the right choice for many, which is why the private rental sector needs to be supported properly if we are to house this growing portion of private sector tenants.’

Not only is this a great time for landlords to make their next investment, it’s also an excellent opportunity to find long-term tenants and minimise void periods.

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