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London renters stressed as many cannot afford their rent let alone buy

A new study shows 77% of London renters feel being unable to own their own home is negatively impacting their life.

The research also revealed that more than a quarter - 28% - are struggling to afford their rent, while one in five - 20% - said renting is getting them down.

First-time buyer digital platform FirstHomeCoach has partnered with Pocket Living, after research by the affordable home company found that 70% of London renters feel the stress of getting on the property ladder.


The partnership has come about as 75% of respondents said a lack of available advice to renters on how to get a foot on the ladder is compounding mental stress.

The research among 1,000 renters aged 25-40 shows that 28% can barely afford the rent, while 20% said renting having a negative impact on their life, as many as 16% feel genuinely depressed because of it.

Some 80% of Londoners worry they will never manage to buy their first home, despite 47% saying they wished to do so.

Their housing situation is also impacting renters’ personal relationships and family aspirations, to the extent that 60% of respondents told researchers that their inability to buy might put them off having a family in the future.

Almost half - 48% - say their housing situation has affected their personal relationship, 20% have even delayed getting married.

Lucian Smithers, sales and marketing director at Pocket Living, said: “We know that the process of buying your first home can be complicated and stressful.

“We want to give first-time buyers as much support as possible to help navigate these challenges. Our partnership with FirstHomeCoach will provide crucial support to those aspiring to own a home of their own.”

The study also revealed that that 81% believe that employers in London should do more to support employees trying to get on the property ladder, while 91% say they would value an employer who offered advice/support for getting on the property ladder.

Ben Leonard, CEO of FirstHomeCoach said: “This research reiterates to us that first-time buyers need more assistance.

“Our online coaching tool tackles this to provide a much faster, cheaper and smarter route to home ownership. We are excited to be partnering with Pocket Living who share our vision and values, and together we are confident we can help more Londoners into homes.”

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Poll: Do you own property in London?


  • James B

    Be interested to see that report if it asked them how many holidays they take, what kind of car they drive, how often they eat out.. I bet the majority of the entitled snowflakes generation are expecting a property to fall into their laps without any sacrifice


    Hi James.
    The youngsters today have very high expectations, especially of their parents.
    My daughters are always telling me of people they know whose parents have bought them houses or pay their mortgage.
    My financial advisor is quick to point out that if I die, my children will get my pension pot tax free, thereby keeping it invested to contribute to his not unsubstantial income.
    I didn't realise that paying into a pension meant for retirement income was to be left to the kids?


    Spot on James, could not have put it better myself, however at the end of the day it will be the ''entitled snowflakes'' down fall.

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    Be interesting to see if any of them had heard of s24 the main driver of rent increases

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    Just more Landlord bashing by more outsiders joining up to knock us with their digital Platforms to feather their own nests. How can they say Rents are not affordable with saying why, they didn't mention that the Authorities that be have spent more than the last 10 years adding costs every year, every additional requirement whether by Government, Local Authority or Shelter has a huge cost to Landlord & reflected in part in the Rent but I am sure full cost is not passed on to the tenant by any means. I know the Councils / Regulators that caused all those costs / problems are riding high as it never cost them a penny no matter how much misery or what a mess they make the Landlords pays for All so they can sit there as smug as they like. Now then another aspect of your article saying the Tenants lack of advice, there has never been a time when tenants had more advice, its thrown at them from all directions from the media, every anti-landlord organisation, not to mention "How to Rent" booklet that we are required to provide them with 13 pages indeed, why don't you stop telling lies about LL. Government now are taking away the remains of section 21 which they say to give more security of Tenure to Family's / schooling etc,. Why then are they taking it away for Houses in Multiple Occupation as well who definitely are not Family's, or they wouldn't require a HM0 license in the first place but mostly individuals on the move that like a flexible life style.

     G romit

    Spot on!
    The Government (Central & local) now make more money from me than I do (after costs are taken out), and they do SFA for the money they get..

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    London prices are pretty astonishing.
    Almost four to five times as much per month than I can command and even then, they think that rents are too high and unaffordable in my area.
    There is no way that I can just put up rents to cover costs as some on here are always suggesting.
    If I didn't own all the properties I rent out, then I would be losing money, as the income would not be enough to service a mortgage or loan on a property.
    Rents haven't risen much (if at all) in the past twenty years where my properties are situated and if it weren't for my commercial properties, I wouldn't make enough to live on.
    This is probably the reality outside of the London/ South East bubble.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Part of this problem is that ownership is still portrayed as somehow better than renting. The second has less to do with rent levels and more to do with the fact that the average London property price for FTBs is around x12 the median salary here.


    In fairness ownership is better than renting for the vast majority. For arguments sake, say you lived in a house you rented for 30 years and decided to live somewhere else after that point, you're basically starting over with nothing to show for it.
    On the other hand if you lived a property you owned for 30 years, hopefully you've paid off the mortgage, saved the disposable income after having paid off the mortgage, and also benefited from rising value in the property. You're significantly more comfortable in retirement and can always downsize to unlock some cash if that's what you want.
    I can't see that there's an argument for renting unless it's because you don't have any other options or that you need the flexibility to move at short notice.

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    • 29 July 2019 11:13 AM

    The main reason for the housing issue has been MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION which is still going on at about 250000 per year.
    If most of the 3 million EU migrants who have settled in the UK were booted out there would be plenty of properties for sale.
    The neo-liberal GR snowflakes have to realise that it has been migration which has caused the problems for them.
    Had there not been the migration since 1997 when idiot Bliar threw open the borders to the A8 countries then there would be no housing crisis in high demand areas.
    Adding nearly 4 million migrants to the existing population was ALWAYS going to cause problems.
    LL did the right thing and invested in property to let to the millions of migrants.
    The problem has been that millions of new properties should have been built but they never were so existing stock had to take the strain to house the millions of migrants.
    It will take decades to provide replacement properties for all those occupied by migrants.
    Hopefully the new Oz points based migration system will prevent migrants we don't want coming to the UK.
    Only the brightest and the best migrants will be wanted from wherever they come from.
    But definitely it will be the end of Romanian gypsy families working the welfare system with their very extended families.
    They won't have enough points so will have to try the other mug EU countries for handouts!!


    I hope you are right Paul and that they do implement a 'points based' system.
    The trouble is, if Boris does this and then loses an election to comrade Corbyn, this measure will no doubt be reversed and we will be back to a good old socialist 'free for all' again.


    UK needs no immigrants--never has since at least 1945

    look uo coudenhove-kalergi plan
    frankfurt school
    agenda 21 and 30 and un migration compact



    Paul, I'm sorry you feel this way, I actually came across your reply and happen to be Romanian (Romanians are caucasians fyi and not an ethnic minority like the Romas). I pay 1.8 k in tax each month and have volunteered for the Great British Spring Clean up and many others in the past. None of my Eastern European friends are on benefits. Perhaps you need to look at how little your government is doing for the average citizen instead of automatically putting the blame on other taxpayers. I don't know of any other Europeans on benefits as it is incredibly to access these in the first place, despite what the newspapers like to claim. If housing is not affordable, it is not to do with us. Thanks and have a nice day.

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    John don’t be astonished the far away hills are green. The sky high prices of property in London sometimes several times more than else where, so rents are naturally higher but not by an equal proportion, I work out less than 3% return and I understand it’s much higher return in North West where I lived for many years , so pound for pound you are far better off away from London. Spare a thought you could have a half £m Mortgage around your neck in Acton for £1300 pcm rent if you are lucky. I am sure I could get a number of Flats up there for that & the combined income far higher, with far less risk at least if one didn’t pay you still had the others, (too many eggs in one basket in L’ don)


    I take your point Michael.


    I work in the north west was picking up houses for 35k / 40k spending 10k max refurbishing then and let them out for 550 pcm and getting your hand bitten off no brainier yields and returns unrivalled


    You could get 8 houses for that in one of my areas and let them for circa 4.5k per month on them all crazy prices are rising though as southern investors are flocking up here due to the high yields

  • icon

    Likes of Shelter G Rent has been planting negative thoughts into people convincing them they can't afford it wh
    En in fact many could with some changes to what they spend their money on. Why not drip fed postivity on how they could and help them change their mind set.

    A can do attitude instead of expecting yo be given everything


  • icon

    MS Lunn, your Rent figures are very shocking reading indeed because the figures are wrong & exaggerated by a country mile, your figures for East London are higher than what we can get in west London. My rooms Acton W3 & Ealing W5 post codes work out similar to your SE28 post code, that's £380 pm per room less than what you say, we need a correction here. Stop exaggerating just STOP, STOP it.

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    • 29 July 2019 21:15 PM

    Not that I know anything about the cheaper Northern markets but isn't this rush by Southern investors to plough into the allegedly higher yielding areas compared to Southern properties somewhat an illusory situation?
    The reason I suggest this is yield only really works when the tenant pays rent!!
    Investing in cheaper properties inevitably results in lower quality tenants who are wont to default on rent.
    As such very few of these tenants will ever qualify for RGI which leaves the LL in a very vulnerable position.
    So is this alleged yield all that it is cracked up to be especially when faced with the very likely reality of a rent defaulting tenant!?
    There is also the very likely issue of tenants refusing to behave properly in ventilating the property resulting in damp and mould.
    This is then used by a rogue tenant to try and obtain a council house or to defer an eviction.
    These Southern investors are I believe being blinded by the supposed yields that are available but have not fully understood the very considerable risks of letting to what are usually very low quality tenants.
    Letting to such types is not for the faint hearted.
    You only have to see the problems LA have when managing properties up North for Southern investors on the numerous TV programmes.
    I would suggest that all that glitters is NOT necessarily gold.
    I believe that many of these Southern investors will be sadly disillusioned once their Northern investing experience starts.


    If u check out properly and go for Eastern European workers u can’t go wrong in 15 years of renting to those groups not owed a penny and they keep their houses lovely put English UC tenants to Shame they really do immigration has been great for my business I have to say

  • icon

    I'm in the middle here, my properties are in Norfolk + one in Suffolk, yields of around 6%, wouldn't want one in London, don't even want to go there, good deals up north ? yes, but a long way from me.


    There are great deals up north it’s a hidden gem with the right local knowledge I have an area that is top of the range for price yield and demand from hard working Eastern European’s 45k house 550 no brainer

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    • 29 July 2019 22:18 PM

    Hard working Eastern European immigrants usually do work so hard as even on the NMW they are earning more than 10 times their home country hourly wage.
    They can afford to rent on their own while remitting hundreds of pounds to their home countries.
    This situation is gradually changing with the reduction in sterling value plus increasing wages in their home countries makes the UK not such an sttractive propostion.
    I am in the same position as you as without EU migrants; mine are mostly Portuguese I would struggle to source tenants at the rents I charge.
    Reliance on migrants for tenants is a bit risky.
    But I have found very few English tenants that can afford my rents.
    Most of my EU migrants all have jobs as sharers and that is the only way they can afford my rents.
    The supply of migrants as tenants is far from guaranteed.
    Hopefully Boris will introduce an extremely HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT for illegal immigrants and EU nationals not working so that any on the streets will be deported.
    Personally I am very nervous about MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION coming to an end.
    This immigration has been very beneficial for LL.
    Though conversely the very fact that LL have invested in letting accommodation for the millions of EU migrants that have flooded here has resulted in S24 and abolishment of S21.
    So LL have by their very success caused many of them to be put out of business and being forced to adjust their business models models mostly to their detriment.
    If possible I am going to try and be a lodger LL.
    But I know I could struggle to source lodgers at the rents I require once controlled borders occur.
    So I believe things are far from guaranteed as regards EU tenants.
    I believe many of them will start returning home where domestic circumstances are improving.
    Lets face it the EU are moving major UK manufacturers to Eastern Europe.
    I believe the never ending supply of EU migrants will be coming to an end.


    I have to agree Paul the party is coming to the end with the endless conveyor belt of Eastern European cash cows always other opportunity’s round the corner

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    • 29 July 2019 22:44 PM

    Could you give me a few clues as to where these opportunities might come from!?
    I believe plain vanilla AST letting will become far less viable.
    UK nationals simply aren't prepared to live like EU migrants.
    The indigenous are mostly better off on welfare and that means they can afford far less.
    So LL need to factor in that all they will be left with is very low quality low rent paying UC tenants.
    That would be sufficient for me to get out of the AST market.
    We LL need to make PROFITS.
    Without EU migrants many LL will not be able to sustain their current business models based on EU migrants.
    I believe LL need to have a plan for when there are insufficient EU migrants or other migrants.
    The status quo will inevitably change.
    It might take a few years for this to all pan out.
    But LL need to start planning for this inevitable situation.
    Mind you with the recent prosecution of the sub-letting Council tenant for £100000 for illegal AirBnB I reckon much illegal letting will come to an end.
    This puts further pressure on available legal rental stock.
    This can only mean increasing rents.
    But the old certainties of the padt 21 years are over.
    New plans need to be devised.

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    • 01 November 2019 02:38 AM

    @Sarah Sarah
    Oh dear Sarah
    It was nothing personal
    Probably most EU migrants from the A8 countries are hard working.
    The problem is they are a burden on public services so that by the time you factor in all the additional costs to provision services for them they are of NO net benefit to the UK.
    So for the UK pretty pointless them being here.
    The low quality jobs that these migrants are prepared to do should be done by our feckless unemployed.. But they work the system so they remain on welfare and earn more on that welfare than hard working EU migrants
    The problem is with the bleeding hard liberals iof lovidom that won't conscript the feckless unemployed into working for their welfare.
    We have fe UK fields of rotting produce because the feckless won't work.
    Migrants have done those jobs but they shouldn't be needed if our feckless were forced to work.
    The UK needs high quality migrants..So if their are 30000 Romanian nurses who can meet NHS requirements then come over to the UK.
    What we DON'T want or need is Romanian car washers; Big Issue sellers or scrap metal collectors..
    All designed to milk the Welfare system.
    Had the A8 countries not been allowed Free movement the UK would be a more amenable place to live.
    The migrants themselves AREN'T to blame in any way.
    They perfectly reasonably took advantage of a system.
    It is the politicians that are at fault for their incompetence in allowing so many EU migrants to come to the UK without a firm job offer.
    EU migrants have depressed UK wages and have stopped British companies from investing in their workforces.
    The UK is short of 50000 LGV drivers.
    So EU nationals are imported keeping wages lie the same as they were 15 years ago .There is also the problem of UK welfare benefits being remitted to hone countries so a total kiss to the UK economy
    Over £35 million of child benefit was remitted to Poland for children not even in the UK!!
    The UK has been forced to leave the EU because it is not allowed under EU law to controls it's borders.
    Unless everyone has equal then free movement is a very bad idea.

  • icon

    Hi Paul
    Good comment.
    I am situated not far from the M4 near a small village, where I believe the majority of people voted to remain in the EU.
    However, in the valleys, they voted to come out, even though they had received a fair amount of money from the EU.
    In my analysis, their reasoning for voting out was the lack of well paid jobs being taken up by Eastern Europeans, who were prepared to work for a much lower rate than the locals.
    Consequently, most decided that it was probably more lucrative to stay on welfare.
    Also, the money given by the EU (via Westminster) was not very wisely spent and did not impact the local population in any positive way.

    • 01 November 2019 11:00 AM

    Your sentiments I totally agree with.
    Unfortunately if such sentiments were expressed on mainstream media you would be hounded as a racist bigot.
    You AREN'T but that WON'T stop the remainer ideologues from spouting their bile.
    Mind you as LL we should be used to all that!!?!


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