Yesterday’s press release from Countrywide entitled ‘UK rental market surges as buyers continue to face barriers’ is spot on with industry opinion. It is clear in its conclusion that today’s buoyant rental market is significantly bolstered by first time buyers’ difficulty in securing mortgage finance. However, we’re intrigued to hear from tenants themselves. Are affordability constraints really the only reason tenants rent, or are there more positive forces at work?
With the flexibility that renting offers, is it any wonder that Countrywide’s findings reveal that the number of new tenants’ registering for rental accommodation increased by 20 percent in May? And as such, are we underestimating the number of people who actively choose to rent? Is it possible that today’s younger generation want more freedom than their predecessors had? Do they want the ability to move home on a regular basis, or terminate their rental agreement and go travelling at the drop of a hat? Do they want the ability to move to a whole new area of the UK for their dream job, or live in an urban area right in the thick of things where they would never actually want to buy? Or do they want to forget about saving for a deposit in favour of spending their hard earned cash on things that make them happy, like gadgets, clothes or socialising?
People are staying fit and active for longer. Life expectancy for males is now 78, for females it’s 80. In short, we have more time to play with. Could this be the reason that rental demand is so high? People are getting married and having children later in life, so is there any harm in choosing to delay the commitment of a house purchase in favour of geographical freedom? Everyone has their opinion, but I’m sure there are many among us who are reluctant to settle down for the time being, and prefer to rent for as long as they can.