Rent­ing on the rise as home own­er­ship falls

Harefield Gazette - - UXBRIDGE PROPERTY -

HOME own­er­ship across Eng­land is at its low­est level in 30 years, ac­cord­ing to in­de­pen­dent Bri­tish think tank Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion. It may be a sur­prise to learn that al­though we think of our­selves as a na­tion of home own­ers, more peo­ple in Spain own a home than in Bri­tain. So why is rent­ing on the in­crease in the UK?

More than 30% of peo­ple now rent in the UK and just over 64% own, com­pared to 47% rent­ing in Germany and 52% owning and only 21% rent­ing in Spain, where more than 78% own homes.

Over the last decade, rent­ing has steadily grown in pop­u­lar­ity in the UK, with a 32% in­crease in rent­ing be­tween 2007 and 2014. But why is this?

Dur­ing the 1970s and 80s there was a govern­ment-led rise in home own­er­ship, fu­elled by Mar­garet Thatcher’s Right to Buy pol­icy.This al­lowed oc­cu­pants to buy coun­cil houses cheaply, and give them­selves a head start on the prop­erty lad­der.

Since then a com­bi­na­tion of in­creas­ing house prices be­tween 2004 and 2007 and the un­avail­abil­ity of mort­gage fi­nance as a re­sult of the credit crunch has re­sulted in more peo­ple turn­ing to the rental sec­tor. Plus, the area you live can make a big dif­fer­ence; prop­erty in Lon­don has be­come un­af­ford­able for many, which has led to half the peo­ple liv­ing there rent­ing. Rent­ing is also a way of life in other big cities: in Syd­ney 65.2% rent, in New York City 69% and in Ber­lin 89%.

“Of course not ev­ery­one has been forced to rent, and for many it’s a pre­ferred life­style choice,” com­mented Bradley Smith, let­tings man­ager at Ro­mans Uxbridge. “But the fact is that ris­ing prop­erty prices have meant more peo­ple are be­ing priced out of buy­ing.”

Stu­dents and young pro­fes­sion­als are not the only ones rent­ing these days, more fam­i­lies are do­ing so too.

The lat­est English Hous­ing Sur­vey re­vealed that in 2014-15, 37% of fam­i­lies with chil­dren lived in the pri­vate rental sec­tor, com­pared to 30% in 2004-05.This means that ap­prox­i­mately 912,000 more house­holds with chil­dren have joined the pri­vate rental sec­tor in the past 10 years.

“As rent­ing con­tin­ues to grow in pop­u­lar­ity I be­lieve it will start to change our mind­set as a na­tion that for many years has mea­sured suc­cess against owning a prop­erty,” added Bradley. Look­ing for your next home? Talk to your lo­cal team of ex­pe­ri­enced agents at Ro­mans Uxbridge and search through hun­dreds of prop­er­ties avail­able to buy and rent in the lo­cal area on ro­mans.co.uk.

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