Over four million households in the UK are now privately rented, which is almost double the amount that were back in 2004. The trend used to be that people would move out into rented accommodation in their early 20s before settling down and buying a property a few years later.
Now however, more and more people are continuing to rent well into their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. There’s no doubt the housing market has made it harder to get on the property ladder meaning many people can’t afford to buy a house. Others are waking up to the benefits renting provides that makes it such a popular option for our European neighbours.
Aside from financial restraints a big reason renting has been so popular with younger people is the flexibility it provides to easily chop and change where they live. If you work in a sector which involves sudden job relocation it is ideal. Even if you’re tenancy isn’t up you may be able to find someone else to take up your room/flat.
Buying a house is a big commitment and it’s not easy (some would say impossible) to sell it quickly. It will take longer to move homes which can be annoying as well as inconvenient.
Purchasing any property is a big investment and always carries a certain amount of risk. There is a huge amount of responsibility to pay off a mortgage and sometimes make bond repayments, which can feel like you’re renting anyway.
There is also a big risk in losing out if your home drops in value between the time you buy and sell it. Usually this is out of your control as a recession, high interest rates or social factors which decrease an area’s desirability occur.
Most of the time the landlord will cover all maintenance costs for a rented property, whereas you will have to stump up if you own the place. While council tax is required in both, the only insurance you’ll need when renting is contents insurance. Property and real estate taxes don’t apply directly to you when renting either and the money you save through all these measures can be put towards other ventures (even if it’s saving up to buy a home).
Renting allows a lot of people to live in areas or have access to facilities they would otherwise be unable to afford. The number of cash-strapped students living in Newcastle’s most expensive area of Jesmond is testament to this as it has some of the city’s highest property prices. Whether you want a property with a swimming pool or just to live in a desirable area, renting is the best way to go about this.