UK to Become A Nation of Private Renters

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The UK is set to become a nation of private renters according to the latest research from letting compliance company Verismart.

The company has looked at what point the UK could lose its homeowner status and tip towards having more private renters than owner-occupiers.

While traditionally a nation of aspirational homeowners, the UK has seen the number of private renters rise strongly in recent years and homeowner numbers fall.

The latest data shows that since 2010, the percentage of owner-occupant homeowners has fallen by -5 per cent while the percentage of occupants in the rental sector has grown by 5 per cent.

When it comes to the percentage of homeowners, the UK currently ranks as the 24th lowest of all 28 EU nations at just 65 per cent. In contrast, the UK is home to the fifth highest percentage of tenant occupiers of all EU nations, behind just Germany, Austria, Denmark and France.

Despite this, homeowners still account for 65 per cent of the market as we remain a nation driven by the goal of owning our own home. However, should this seven-year trend persist we could start to see this change as more and more of us remain in the rental sector.

Based on the previous decline in homeownership levels, the scales would tip in favour of private renters by 2039 with 50.7 per cent of us renting to 49.3 per cent owning our own home. By 2045 this will have grown to 55 per cent of the nation living in the rental sector to 45 per cent classed as owner-occupants.

Founder and CEO of VeriSmart, Jonathan Senior, commented: ‘We are currently seeing a shifting mentality in the way we choose to live our lives and for Generation Rent, in particular, there is no longer that urgency to make it out of the rental sector and secure their own ‘piece’ of bricks and mortar.

‘This was initially driven by consistently buoyant house price growth coupled with stagnant wage growth providing no other option but to rent, however, social rental numbers are falling, Build-to-Rent is growing in prominence, and there has been a number of tenant-friendly changes to the sector.’ 

He concluded: ‘All of these changes are making the rental sector a more attractive place to be and as a result, we are seeing more of us opt for it and stay there for much longer than we may have traditionally.’