The rise of urban renters

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A new report called ‘Housing Futures: Urban Renters’ examines the growing number of people who prefer to rent rather than own their own home because they enjoy the flexibility of renting.

Covered in a November 2016 article, the report found that 9% of people living in Greater London prefer to rent rather than own property. The private rented sector has experienced 82% growth over the past 10 years and is larger than the social housing sector.

Last year, a report by the Halifax found that between 2012 and 2015, there was an increase of 3% in people aged between 20 and 45 who did not want to own a home. Most of these people are living in rented accommodation.

One of the authors of the Urban Renters report, Stephanie McMahon, said:

“While the aspiration to own is still a key motivation for the majority of households, a preference for renting is starting to surface, with nine per cent of respondents in Greater London preferring to rent [over owning]. We seem to be on the brink of becoming a rental nation.”

The Bank of England (BofE) is in the process of questioning UK lenders on buy-to-let commercial mortgages. This has led to speculation that the BofE wants to restrict buy to let lending by making it more difficult to obtain a commercial mortgage, which could result in a scarcity of rented properties to meet the demand. An expected increase in build-to-rent developments by builders and developers may help this shortfall.

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