27 Jun 2018

More people choosing to rent long-term rather than buy

More people choosing to rent long-term rather than buy

The stereotype of students as being the biggest group to rent property from a private landlord has been well and truly quashed by a new study.

Nationwide Building Society says renters are actually more likely to be couples (47%), families (11%) or those living alone (30%), rather than young adults living with university friends (7%). 

Nationwide’s director of specialist lending, Paul Wootton, said: “It’s clear renting is not a one-size-fits-all experience. 

"With one in five renting a home and many expected to rent throughout their lives, tenant priorities differ according to where they are in their life, in the country or in their own housing journey. 

"But, even though the housing landscape has changed dramatically, having peace of mind and the security of somewhere fit to call home is everyone’s right, whether they rent or own their property."

Mr Wootton said that, where older generations assumed they would own their own home, for many today long-term renting is considered the new housing normal – as it is in much of Europe. 

Survey results

For almost half of those surveyed, their main reason for renting was that they could not afford to buy. 

However, for 11%, a change in circumstances, such as the breakdown of a relationship, leaves them renting – and the likelihood of this grows with age, with 15% of over-55s citing this as their main reason for renting. 

Having to leave a previous home (6%) and lack of social housing (4%) also feature – while others rent because of the flexibility it provides (6%) or to have easier access to their work (5%).

The most important consideration when choosing a home to rent for one in four people was cost or affordability. For 11%, it was location and for 9% it was availability.

Tenants renting from a private landlord stay an average of four years and two months, though 31% stay for five years or more and 13% stay for a decade or more.

According to the study, the older the tenant, the longer they seem to stay, with average length of tenancy duration for 18-24-year-olds at just over a year, 25-34-year-olds at two years four months, 35-44 year olds at four years five months, 45-54-year-olds at five years eight months and those 55+ staying six years nine months in the same home.

The average UK monthly rent is £562.05, while in Scotland it is £478.87.

One in five of those surveyed believe the worst thing about renting is that it’s a waste of money because others are profiting.

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