The Property Ombudsman

Rise in long term lets

The number of home ownerships in the UK has fallen for the first time in 100 years.

New data released from the ONS, compiled from the 2011 Census report, showed that home ownership represented 64% of the 2.3 million households in the UK. Compared to 2001, this is a decline of 5%, the first fall in a century.

As a result, the number of rented properties in the UK has increased to 36%, 18% of which represents the private rental sector. In 2001, the number of households recorded to be living in privately rented accommodation was only 12%. That’s an increase of 6% in a decade, indicating a significant growth in rental demand.

The news follows on from reports from a few months previous stating that one in five homes are predicted to be privately rented within the next five years, with the average property price in the UK now exceeding £200,000.

Graham Davidson, Managing Director of Sequre Property Investment, comments on the increase in rental demand:

“As the data is actually representing figures from 2011, we can presume that the increase in rental properties has risen further than this already. Even so, the increase from 12% to 18% in the private rented sector in just 10 years is quite significant. It would seem that students and young professionals are enjoying this new change in lifestyle. The affordability that renting offers allows graduates and young workers to live independently in prime city centre locations yet still have disposable income left over for leisure activities. If they were saving for a house or deposit, they would have to move into more suburban areas and their leisure costs would have to be cut back. Because of this, it’s likely that long term lets have risen in favour of a more flexible style of living.”

“Renting is an attractive option to a younger generation due to the freedom it provides, and the high quality of property that is available on the market at the moment makes renting even more appealing. More and more tenants are getting comfortable and staying in their privately rented homes for longer. It was reported earlier in the year that first time buyers would need to earn an average of £41,000 to afford the average property. As this is clearly an unrealistic goal for younger people who are just starting out in their careers, it’s no surprise that demand has increased significantly.”

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