The Private Rented Sector (PRS) contains more than 4.5 million households and has doubled in size since 2002 according to the latest English Housing Survey (EHS). The sector is still growing, especially among younger generations, leading people to ask why so many are renting.
There are undoubtedly some compelling lifestyle reasons for renting. New research from Rightmove shows that renting is simply convenient for many people. Whether that is because they want to live close to work (10%), don’t know where to buy (10%), enjoy the freedom offered by renting (3%) or enjoy living with friends (2%), it is clear that the PRS is a good fit for many
However, the main reason is that most people – especially younger renters – cannot afford to buy a home of their own and are therefore having to rent in the long term. Three quarters of all UK renters surveyed by Rightmove said that the main reason they rented was because buying a home of their own is unaffordable.
Miles Shipside, a property expert at Rightmove, said of the findings: “Saving a deposit to buy your own home, alongside all the other expenses of modern life, means many people feel trapped as a renter. This survey clearly shows that whilst renting is a lifestyle choice for some, it’s the only fall-back option for many.”
This situation was also confirmed in the latest Knight Knox Tenant Survey Report from the end of Q4 2018 which showed more than half of respondents (56.3%) said that their inability to afford a deposit was the main reason why they rented long term.
Consequently, as more people become long term renters every year, demand for rental homes is outstripping supply all over the country. Rightmove has recorded a 13% fall in rental stock across Britain (excluding London) over the last two years.
As a result, rents are rising across most of England and Wales according to both Rightmove and Goodlord, with only the North East seeing month-on-month and annual falls. In addition, Goodlord research shows that the average void period across the country is just 21 days, demonstrating the huge demand.
With rents and demand both rising across the UK, and therefore rental yields increasing, this is a fantastic time to invest in buy to let property. Have a look at our available property investment opportunities today and get in touch for more information!