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Will Renters Get The Help They Need To Become Buyers?

Speculation is growing ahead of the General Election around how first-time buyers will fair, and if they’ll receive the support they really need to get onto the property ladder from political parties. 

Skipton Building Society (part of the Skipton Group) has spoken to tenants across the country, looking at the rise in the number of tenants who are considering moving back in with their parents to boost their property savings.

The biggest hurdle to the property ladder for many first-time buyers is their lack of affordability, particularly when it comes to savings, not only saving for a deposit but the overall costs associated with buying their first home too.


Skipton’s research reveals that four in 10 renters would consider moving back in with their parents so they can save enough to get on the property ladder.

The poll of 2,000 renters with an ambition to buy a home found while 52 per cent of those considering it feel it’s a move backwards, 91 per cent say it would be a short-term sacrifice for a long-term gain. While 22 per cent estimate if they were to make the move, they could have enough saved within a year for a house deposit.

Office for National Statistics data shows that within England, London had the highest annual percentage change in private rental prices in the 12 months to January 2024, at 6.9%, while the North east saw the lowest, at 4.7%.

Despite the increased prices the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported an increase in tenant demand, in their January 2024 UK Residential Market Survey as some renters may have no other option than to pay the prices. 

Skipton Polled the more than one in five (22 per cent) renters with no option to move back in with mum and dad as to why it wouldn’t be possible, of these one in three state their parents don’t have the space for them, 27 per cent said they would end up living too far away from work And 37 per cent admitted they wouldn’t be able to give up their independence. But nearly a quarter (23 per cent) simply wouldn’t want to live by someone else’s rules, according to the figures.

Skipton’s research follows rental data from Hamptons, part of the Skipton Group which revealed the average rent paid by someone leaving the parental home passed £1,000 pcm for the first time in 2023.

Which means the average would-be tenant who didn’t fly the nest would have the opportunity to save up to £12,290 if they could live rent-free with parents for a year.

With rising rents and the cost of living, the tenants polled are currently only able to save £187 a month towards their first house deposits – but if they were to move into the ‘Hotel of Mum & Dad’ they could put as much as £808 away monthly.

And with 20 per cent feeling it will take them more than five years to save for their first home whilst renting, 63 per cent admit their family are unable to contribute to their savings.

Jennifer Lloyd, Head of Mortgage Products and Proposition at Skipton Building Society, says: “People trapped renting is one of the biggest housing challenges we face across the country, which is having a massive impact on the fabric of our society. 

“With escalating rents and the cost-of-living squeeze further impacting people’s ability to save for a house deposit – it’s making it almost impossible for people get onto the property ladder so it’s no wonder we are seeing a rise in the number of tenants considering a move back home. 

“For those fortunate and willing to make this move, then it might be a vital first step in helping them to boost their savings. However, as the research reveals, we know for many tenants, this isn’t option for them.” 

The study went on to find more than a fifth (22 per cent) who would consider shacking back up with Mum and Dad would use the opportunity to pick up financial advice from them. Another 20 per cent believe it would reduce their commuting costs, while 36 per cent think they’d be able to pay off debt more quickly.

But while 13 per cent believe they wouldn’t have to contribute anything to their parents in terms of rent, the average respondent wouldn’t be going rent free at home and expect to hand over £252 a month.

And when it comes to moving home, six in 10 said they would look forward to spending more quality time with their parents or guardians, if they moved back in.

Another 45 per cent would enjoy the regular home-cooked meals, 18 per cent think they’d benefit from more outdoor space and 17 per cent would even love being reunited with childhood pets.

Lloyd adds: “We know there isn’t one quick solution to addressing this huge societal challenge of tenants being trapped in renting cycles, with rents escalating faster than mortgage payments and the increasing costs of living but doing nothing isn’t going to solve this UK housing issue. “We know the Track Record product will not be able to help everyone and is only part of the solution for this group of people, but as a lender, we’re taking a stand to offer innovation in this space to help turn generation rent into generation buy.”

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  • Franklin I

    The question of whether renters will receive the necessary support to buy a property is a pertinent one, especially as government schemes like Help to Buy and shared ownership, along with stamp duty exemptions for FTB's, aim to facilitate homeownership for renters.

    While these initiatives provide valuable opportunities for renters to step onto the property ladder, it's essential to recognise the challenges that LL's also face in the current housing market climate. LL's encounter difficulties such as dealing with exploitation of cash buying companies, addressing rogue tenant issues, and navigating changes in mortgage lending practices.

    Acknowledging both the assistance available to renters and the challenges experienced by LLs highlights the complexities of the housing market. Balancing the needs of both groups is crucial to fostering a fair and sustainable housing environment that benefits all stakeholders.

    Finding a harmonious approach that addresses the concerns of renters and LL's alike will be key to navigating the ever-evolving landscape of the property sector.
    (Note: It's important to acknowledge that not all FTB's' schemes from the government are equally effective.)


    Help to buy will only ever be help to sell for the new build developers

  • David Saunders

    The incoming governments draconian Renters Reform Bill will likely leave landlords little option but to try and sell their properties to what will be their rent controlled lifetime sitting tenants for 50% of its value when vacant thus in the then governments view helping first time buyers and teaching those money grabbing wicked landlords a lesson. The only downside of course is that properties to let will become as rare as rocking horse droppings and homeless figures will go into orbit.

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    Remember the days when a couple got engaged and continued living with their parents until they had saved enough to set up a home. Then and only then did they get married and move to their new home.


    Or as I did bought a run down property and renovated, my self and my wife spent every week end and every bank holiday renovating before getting married and then moving in mortgage free


    You mean they didn't have children first? What a novel idea. I wonder if it will catch on.

    David Saunders

    Oh to have those halcyon days back again William, working all the hours god sent when saving for a deposit on a home of our own when the only chance of a kiss and cuddle etc in the meantime was in the back of my old Riley 1.5 parked alongside Hampstead Heath. Happy days though but I wonder if today's youngsters could survive the trauma/experience.


    That's right A L no children until we were ready and settled


    David I had a Capti with recliningg seats, gear lever and hand brake did get in the way though, as you say happy days

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    It’s all balderdash not possible to give them that much help there has been 3/4 initiatives already what did that achieve ?. All the costs by far that had been imposed on renting in recent years is by Government & local Authorities and not by landlords.
    Don’t agree with Jennifer Lloyd they are not trapped in renting unless she means trapped in housing support and benefits, they don’t want to give that up either, 1’000’000. extra went on it during COVID 800’000 didn’t give it up it like a disease once on it can’t live without it.
    We all know the problems were caused by Government and Mr Gove the front
    man for the big boys to systematically take over by Corporate and Institutional landlords, they shown their hand by imposing many Rules & Regulations to cripple small landlords which leaving the big boys exempt.

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    The big boys are not totally exempt, still have to pay extra 3% stamp duty, same rules apply like doing all essential works and responsibilities and liabilities.

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    The article and comments so far show how fragmented the housing market is. It also needs to be remembered wages are pretty much a national concept whereas house prices vary hugely from region to region. In parts of the North it is possible to buy a habitable family home for less than the price of a decent car. So not all renters have the same opportunities for homeownership even if they wanted to buy.

    Not all tenants want to be homeowners. Some have been there, done it and lost the lot in a divorce. They don't want to risk repeating that.

    Then there's the ones who are aiming for Social Housing. Who doesn't like the idea of half price rent, long term security and no property maintenance worries?

    Some will have realised there is far more financial support for tenants than homeowners when children enter the equation. Tenants have more choice around working part time than homeowners do purely because there is no equivalent to LHA for homeowners. If spending quality time with infant children is a priority, renting is often the better option unless one parent is a very high earner.

    Then there are those who will be homeowners eventually when their lives are settled enough. Right now they're too busy gaining professional qualifications and moving for career opportunities. The last thing they want to do right now is tie themselves to a house and lose access to whatever FTB incentives will be in place when the time is actually right for them. For aspirational young people living in an HMO gives the best all round experience for low cost independence and allows maximum opportunity for saving towards a deposit. The idea of freeloading off parents would be abhorrent to most upwardly mobile young people. If they're paying board to parents and commuting costs it is often cheaper to find a room closer to work. That then gives easier access to work or networking opportunities, social events, etc that will boost promotion chances. I've had a few occasions where HMO housemates have got far better jobs they wouldn't even have known about purely because another housemate told them about the vacancy. How often does that happen to people living in their parents spare room?


    Wages are what they are, but there's always oppertunities to earn more, overtime, a second job, cash work on the side

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    Viva, if they are a Company probably vat registered and claim it back. Section 24 doesn’t apply to them. When they have more than 3 Flats in a Block no HMO required that will do for a start didn’t have much time today to see the comments.

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    If 6 million of the most recent 10 million went back home there would be no housing crisis. Rents would be lower as would property prices. No matter what incentives the government put in place it is more than undermined by the fact that they will continue to allow in 750k people a year. As LabCon have proven, neither party is prepared to deal with the root cause.


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