Property News > More people in the UK want the flexibility of renting a home

More people in the UK want the flexibility of renting a home

According to new research, the desire for Britons to own their own home is beginning to dwindle - opening the door for a German-style housing model, in which rented accommodation is the preferred option for many.The research, carried out by landlord insurance company Direct Line for Business, suggests that many people in Britain view home ownership as an unnecessary financial burden, and one which does not offer the same level of ‘flexibility’ as renting. The analysis demonstrates that the average price paid by first-time buyers grew by over 50% between 2012 and 2017 - meaning that those making their first step onto the property ladder can now expect to have to fork out upwards of £200,000 on average. Of course, this creates an issue of affordability for many, which increases the number of those renting out of necessity. However, 22% of those who have no ambition to buy a property of their own suggested that they were not prepared to take on the financial commitment. A further 22% cited maintenance costs as a major deterrent, and would rather a landlord shoulder the responsibility of fixing any issues. Not wanting to be tied to a local area was also mentioned as a reason to opt for rental property, giving tenants a greater degree of flexibility in what is often dubbed Britain’s ‘gig economy’.  Meanwhile, those who see renting as a stop-gap prior to purchasing their own home now expect to spend over 15 years on average in rented accommodation before they have accrued the necessary financial means to secure their own property. However, this is reduced to under 12 years for those living in London, despite the ever-growing property market in the capital. London is also home to 2.7 million tenants, which accounts for 16% of the overall amount nationwide, while in Scotland 43% of the population are in rented accommodation - the highest proportion of anywhere in the UK.Christina Dimitrov, business manager at Direct Line for Business, suggests that the change in attitude towards renting may also stem from tighter regulations imposed by the Government. She said: ‘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.’ 

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