Younger people value the flexibility of renting, while many do so because they cannot save enough to try the alternative of buying a home. And for the over 45s, often their criteria fail to make them attractive enough for a mortgage offer, also effectively freezing them out of buying.
These are just some of the facts uncovered by a Savills research paper, reported in the Independent here.
Renting seems a second class option, for a good number of renters. But with a rising housing market, their chances of getting a deposit together, and qualifying for a mortgage, are not likely to improve.
But look at it another way. If the rental market was altogether more professional, and offered a variety of choices, then maybe it would be more fundamentally attractive. Right now, the private rented sector in the UK is characterised by small landlords, many of them buy to let individuals or couples who see the second house they own and rent out as part of their retirement pot.
The Independent quotes Susan Emmett of Savills: “We expect that a better quality private rented sector would prompt more people to rent through choice rather than necessity.” Several companies are now homing in on the potential of this market, and in five years we can expect to see some leading home rental brands emerging – brands that people will specifically want to rent their home from.