More than half of renters do not believe they will ever be able to afford to buy their own home, a survey suggests.
With property prices continuing to increase in some parts of the country, raising a deposit is often seen as the biggest barrier to getting a foot on the housing ladder.
The research, carried out by property investment consultancy Knight Knox, found that less than a quarter - 23% - of renters are currently saving for a deposit, with many people living in private rented accommodation having little hope of affording a deposit unless their circumstances dramatically changed.
The findings from the study, which polled 2,000 people currently renting property in the UK, suggest an acceptance among many of those currently residing in the private rented sector (PRS) that owning a home will remain unattainable, according to Andy Phillips, commercial director at Knight Knox.
He said: “With rising house prices and stagnant salaries, it appears that many people currently renting have come to terms with the idea that they’ll never own a home and now accept renting as a viable option in the long-term.
“We’ve grown up in this country with the notion that you must settle down and buy a house but, due to numerous factors, that’s not as much of a reality as it once was and we’re starting to see the stigma traditionally attached to renting dissolve.
“The reducing number of people saving for a deposit could mean we’re seeing a shift towards a PRS-centric property landscape, similar to that which has long been a way of life in Germany and wider continental Europe.”
In support of these findings, 61% of participants said they were content to rent, citing reasons such as renting suiting their lifestyle and not wanting to be tied to one property or a lengthy mortgage contract.
Philips added: “The traditional model of homeownership doesn’t suit everyone’s lifestyle and whether it’s the best way forward is being called into question.
“Meanwhile, the PRS is increasingly being seen as an essential solution to the lack of housing available, with rented homes expected to account for over seven million homes in the UK by 2025.”