More than two thirds of UK renters have no plans to acquire a property, according to new research by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business.
The study found that of the estimated 17 million renters in the UK, 70% – or 12 million adults – do no not plan to get a foot on the housing ladder, suggesting that Britain is moving towards a German housing model with a greater percentage of the population renting.
Affordability is cited as the main reason why people are deterred from buying property, with the research revealing that the average price paid by first-time buyers in 2017 was £207,693, more than 50% higher than five years previously when the same property cost on average £138,663. This is an increase of almost £70,000, or £1,150 every month.
Aside from affordability, just over a fifth of those not looking to buy - 22% - simply do not want the financial commitment that comes with owning a home.
Some 22% also said that they are put off by the running costs of maintaining a property and would rather leave it to a landlord to deal with any issues that may arise, while others simply like the flexibility that renting offers, with 9% wanting to be free to travel and 8% not wanting to be tied to a local area.
Christina Dimitrov, business manager at Direct Line for Business, commented: “The UK housing market continues to change and we are seeing a major attitudinal shift when it comes to renting. While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property rather than jumping into homeownership.
“In line with the greater demand for rental properties, the government has introduced tougher controls and regulation. Recent legislative changes mean landlords have stringent guidelines to adhere to in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of their tenants.
“It is important that landlords ensure all of their properties are adequately insured to minimise distress to them and their tenants should something go wrong.”