Most tenants would love to own their own home

A survey of tenants who rent homes has revealed the depth of the crisis facing the private rented sector, with more than three quarters of respondents effectively trapped in their current home due to the major shortage of alternative properties to let.

The survey was carried out by the HOP estate agency, which manages a large rentals portfolio across Leeds and beyond. It asked more than 600 tenants about their current circumstances and property aspirations.

More than 70 per cent of respondents said that they ideally want to own their own home but for three quarters of these not having a sufficient deposit is holding them back. However, 64 per cent are currently saving for a deposit and 43 per cent hope to buy in the next five years.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Most expect to buy in their 30s, with 41 per centsaying they will be aged between 32 and 39 when they take their first step onto the property ladder, followed by 27 per cent who believe they will be in their 40s.

Shortage of rental propertiesShortage of rental properties
Shortage of rental properties

However, 71 per cent said they will stay in their current home for the foreseeable future and 12 per cent have already lived there longer than they planned to. This is mainly because there aren’t enough alternative rental properties available so moving might mean having to leave an area and changing jobs. Rising rents also make moving a financial risk.

The survey also showed that for tenants choosing rental homes, location and price are much more important than the size or the interior of the property.

Luke Gidney, managing director of HOP, said: “Although it’s no secret that the majority of tenants currently renting properties would like to buy their own homes, our survey also revealed that a quarter are happy renting and have no desire to buy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Most said it was the fact they could move quickly if their circumstances changed, as well as not having to worry about repairs and maintenance, that made renting preferable to buying.

“However, many tenants are facing difficult choices and are resigned to the fact that moving to a new rental property can be a challenge due to the shortage of available homes in the private rented sector, which has driven rents up by approximately 10 per cent in West Yorkshire in the past 12 months alone.

“Government figures show England’s prvate rented sector accounts for 4.6 million or 19 per cent of households and that it has doubled in size since the early 2000s. This compares to 15.6 million, or 64 per cent and four million, or 17 per cent, for owner occupation and social housing respectively.

“At the moment though, huge numbers of landlords are selling investment properties, due to legislation, red tape and tax changes. We are now in a position where demand for rental property is higher than it’s ever been and tenants are bearing the brunt of this, competing for available properties and having to pay record rents. It’s a horrible situation that’s only going to get worse unless action is taken to stem the landlord exodus.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In recent weeks, HOP’s specialist investment division, has agreed more than £1.5million worth of investment sales. The investment specialist offers both new and experienced residential property investors a turnkey service, as well as an investor club providing off-market investment opportunities.

HOP is now preparing to sell a further £5million worth of off-market investment properties. Although some of this is accidental and single unit landlords wanting to exit the market, it is largely being purchased by professional landlords and overseas investors.