With home ownership at its lowest levels for 30 years, new research shows that renting is not just about affordability, it’s also become a lifestyle choice, especially across the younger generation. Home ownership rates have dropped from 46% to 20% for 25-year-olds over the last 20 years and whilst some of this can be put down to lack of affordable housing, there is no doubt that we are seeing a fundamental shift in attitudes towards home ownership and that it is no longer considered the be all and end all.
In fact, a recent tenant survey by Knight Frank illustrates that many are now choosing to rent because it fits in with their lifestyle. According to the survey, 38% of under 35s and 49% of under 25s indicated they didn’t want the commitment of a mortgage and that renting allowed them the flexibility they wanted.
Renting allows younger people to enjoy a higher standard of accommodation than if they were buying and it also doesn’t tie them down to a particular location. Younger people are far more prepared to move to where the best job opportunities are and having a mortgage would restrict them in this respect.
20% of households are now let out to private tenants and Knight Frank predicts that this will grow further. They forecast that investment in the rented sector will increase to £50 billion by 2020 as investors look for reliable, regular rental income and adopt buy and hold property investment strategies.