It’s the role of experts in the UK property market to keep an eye on housing trends and to watch as things change in the rented sector. The popularity of rented housing has seen a plethora of peaks and troughs over the years. At this point in 2015 it seems to be going from strength to strength.
The UK is facing a growing housing shortage resulting from the steadily rising population and increased immigration, particularly from within the EU, in the past ten years. This housing shortage puts pressure on house prices across the country, especially in urban areas and cities. While homeowners might be jumping for joy, a lot of younger people are finding themselves priced out of the housing market. The media are calling these people ‘rentysomethings’ and for them affordable rented property is nothing to be sniffed at.
There are a number of advantages to renting over buying. These benefits have been well recognised in the commercial sector for years, so it seems strange that they’ve only just begun to be appreciated by our generation of rentysomethings. The market for commerical property for sale in Suffolk, for example, has been completely dwarfed by the commercial rental market for the last 20 years! It seems in business, people are much less ready to take the risk and make the commitment. So why are we more ready to do that with our homes? Renting is, most importantly, far more flexible than owning. Owning a house comes with added responsibilities like property maintenance. Not only that, but buying a property is usually making a commitment to live in the same place for the next five to ten years. Renting comes with no such baggage.
Renting property is no longer viewed as simply a ‘stop gap’ by younger people; renters are progressively looking to rent properties that they can really enjoy and even love. There’s certainly been a growing demand for high-quality rental units in the past few years as people try to find a home to call their own. Rentals that have added services, like a 24/7 concierge, parcel collection and included broadband are rising in reputation, and are helping to disprove the myth that all rented property is cheap or run down.
Our rentysomethings are now well aware of the fact that they could very well spend the majority of their twenties and thirties in rented accommodation – so why rough it? Living in a shoebox can work for a few years, but now that renting is most of our younger generation’s reality for a decade or more, it becomes important to create roots in rented properties, too. This meant the emergence of longer term tenancy agreements, which once were highly uncommon. A longer term tenant might lose a little of the flexibility gained from renting, but the added security is usually worth it for those who don’t have plans to move.
The UK housing market has changed remarkably in the past few decades, and will no doubt see more changes in the years to come. Perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen has been in the private rented sector, where the perspective has entirely changed. Rented properties are no longer seen as a ‘last resort’. There is perhaps nothing the average rentysomething wants more than a luxury rented property with a flexible, affordable tenancy agreement in an area that they would otherwise be completely priced out of.