News piece: Generation Rent – All Ages are Now Choosing to Rent rather than Buy Property


Traditionally, us Brits have always preferred home ownership over renting. But there is a changing mindset happening now amongst people of all ages including families, young professional and retirees, not least because house deposits, stamp duty and mortgages are right up against the limits of affordability.

According to the English Housing Survey, a fifth of the UK population now lives in privately rented accommodation, a figure that has doubled in a decade.

So who is choosing to rent and why? Some are upsizing families opting to rent a roomier property; some can’t get a larger mortgage; some don’t want to pay the huge stamp duty costs; many want the freedom to move jobs and location (much more common in today’s job market); others believe the housing market may dip further, enabling them to pounce on a bargain and to be even more competitive because they are not in a chain.

And rather surprisingly retirees are choosing to sell up to release equity and rent. Apparently more than half of those aged over 55 would consider renting.  Our client developer Birchgrove has spotted this market opportunity and are building retirement villages of luxury apartments with excellent facilities that are just for renting. The assured tenancy agreements provide reassurance to the retired tenants that they have a home for life, and the tenants that have moved in are now enjoying an enhanced lifestyle with the equity release. We think it sounds like a great idea. What do you think?