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Two-thirds of renters do not intend to purchase property

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.”

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  • icon

    it's all too popular to say people rent because they cannot buy, this is not always the case, younger people don't want to be tied down, promotion at work often means moving to the other side of the country at short notice, they don't want the responsibility of home ownership and all that goes with it, we do seem to be going the german way, and the way of many other countries where it is the norm to rent, and it's not just property, more and more cars are on contract hire now, just add fuel and drive.


    Agreed, for some people, especially young professionals, home ownership isn't going to suit when a degree of flexibility is needed.
    I'd disagree that we're following the German model however. The German model offers far more protection to tenants by prescribing very strict criteria for ending a tenancy, there's no equivalent to S.21. Additionally, I believe there are rules concerning rent increases which link them to inflation.
    More people tend to rent in Germany because the protections offered to tenants have led to far more stable and secure tenancies which allow people to stay in the same place longer.
    To say that we're following German model because more people are renting is a bit misleading, I think the reality a lot of renters are essentially locked out of the market by high house prices. There'd be uproar from UK landlords if the government proposed to adopt the German model and give tenants here the same protection they have in Germany.

  • G romit

    "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
    9% wanting to be free to travel and
    8% not wanting to be tied to a local area."

    That adds up to 61% who do not want to buy

  • James B

    And yet the government hammer landlords to give up and release properties to the market that doesn’t want them ! .. leaving the tenants to carry less supply and higher rents .. good thinking !! We need a wave of media promoting this info instead of the usual landlord bashing


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