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Over two thirds of UK renters have given up plans to purchase a property and are moving towards a German housing model, according to new data and analysis from Direct Line for Business.
Official statistics place the UK ahead of only Denmark, Austria and Germany in terms of owner-occupied homes. The analysis from Direct Line for Business found that the statement that an ‘Englishman’s home is is castle’ may soon be set to change, as future generations become more acclimatised to renting. The average price paid by first-time buyers in 2017 was £207,693. This is more than 50 per cent higher than five years prior, when the same property would have cost an average of £138,663. This is an increase of nearly £70,000, equating to £1,150 every month.
Affordability is a key reason for people thinking that they will remain UK renters and not purchase a home, but for 22 per cent, the financial commitment of home ownership was also a turn off. 9 per cent stated that they wanted to be free to travel, and believed that owning a home would restrict this. 12 per cent were reluctant to be tied to a local area. Finally, 22 per cent of those who were not planning to remain UK renters considered that the cost of maintaining a property is too high, and they would prefer a landlord to deal with issues that might arise.
Despite London’s accelerating property market it is the region people expect to spend the shortest time renting before buying a home. The average Londoner anticipates that they will spend under 12 years renting in comparison to the UK average of 15 years and two months. On a regional basis, Scotland has the highest proportion of people renting at 43 per cent while the West Midlands has the lowest at 21 per cent.
Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, Christina Dimitrov, said: ‘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.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.’