The majority of tenants are happy to keep renting, with older renters the least interested in buying a house in the near future, a new survey has revealed.
The research by buy-to-let focussed marketplace lender Landbay found that just 42% of tenants were interested in buying anytime soon, bucking the traditional thinking that renting was simply a stepping stone to home ownership.
According to the study of 2,000 private renters in the UK, only 13% of over 55s expressed a desire to buy a home, while less than half (46%) of those aged 35-44 said they were looking to get on the housing ladder any time soon.
Younger renters were more enthusiastic about owning their own home with almost two thirds (64%) tenants aged 25-34 keen to buy.
The survey also threw up a home ownership gender gap; 47% of women are keen to buy a home, compared to just 34% of men.
Of those women who want to buy, 48% are more likely than men (39%) to want to invest their money rather than pay rent. Men, on the other hand, placed more value on having a connection to the area they were looking to buy in compared to women, although both men and women agreed on more space, with 25% of men and 24% of women saying this was a factor in wanting to buy.
The number of people planning to buy is highest in London, at 48%, and Northern Ireland at 47% compared to 37% in the south west and Wales.
The flexibility of renting was the overwhelming reason for tenants shunning the housing ladder, with a quarter (25%) of renters saying being able to move on easily was the main benefit of renting.
John Goodall, CEO, Landbay comments: “This research suggests the UK’s enthusiasm for homeownership may be waning. Conversations around the private rental sector often assume the bulk of renters are simply biding their time until they can buy a house. However, the changing face of employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, and landlords should reflect this in their interactions with tenants.
“It’s crucial that investment in the private rental sector becomes a priority. What use is Labour’s ‘right to buy’ policy if renters have no interest in doing so? Instead the government must focus on encouraging purpose-built rental properties and cease its penalisation of landlords.”