Figures from the National Housing Federation show that renters have to move frequently; tenants are nine times more likely to have moved in the last 12 months than owner occupiers.
Whilst letting a property has the advantage of flexibility for those who want it, 28% of tenants said they have not been able to settle down in one area due to a lack of confidence in a sustainable housing cost, the figure was higher for tenants with children, 33% of whom feel they are unable to settle down as they fear rising housing costs.
Of tenants aged between 25 and 44, 63% had hoped to be able to afford to buy a property and put down more permanent roots by this point in their life but are stuck in the rental sector unable buy a home. 56% of all private renters had never planned to rent for so long, 70% of tenants aspire to own their own home.
Nationally around 9 million people rent their home and this is growing so new landlords and new property to let is always needed to meet demand.
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “With house prices continuing to soar out of reach, and typical deposits for first time buyers hitting £30,000, younger generations are seeing their dream of home-ownership replaced with a life of renting.
“It’s clear that the younger generation is being let down, and given no alternative but to move from one short-term let to the next, never being able to save enough to buy because their wages are eaten up by rent.
“We’ve found that nearly eight out of 10 people (77%) in England don’t believe any of the main political parties will effectively deal with housing, but they still have the chance to put that right. With a bold long term plan for house building our housing crisis is solvable. We need politicians from all sides to commit to ending the housing crisis within a generation.”
The shift in owner and rental occupation is starting to get into the national psyche with renting at any life stage much more acceptable and not the taboo it once may have been. Adverse to a general perception that we are a nation of owner occupiers, the UK’s home ownership figure of are actually lower than the EU average of 70% and for the first time since records started to be collated in 1995, lower than owner occupation in France. The EUs statistical bureau Eurostat show that home ownership in Britain was 64.6% in 2013, down from 70% in 2005, the lowest level of home ownership since 1988
The buy-to-let sector continues to expand, particularly where new homes are being built, for example of the new homes built between 2000 and 2012 over 2,500,000 have been bought by investors in the private rental sector whilst only 400,000 have been mortgaged or bought outright by owner occupiers. Not only are more renters entering the market they are likely to move much more frequently creating a huge demand for and turnover of rental property.
So if the housing market is evolving in the UK, how do we make it work for people?
- More housing supply of all types of property, this is needed in both the rental and buying sectors
- More opportunities for long term rental contracts, allowing people to feel at home in their rented property
- Better regulation of the private rental sector to aid the smooth running of a let
- Stabilisation of rental values, through the supply of appropriate new housing stock
- Better tenant / landlord / agent relationships built through respect, good communication and good service
- Reduction in rent arrears or new tenant referencing to support longer term contracts
- Clear communication of tenant and landlord expectations