Britain moving to a German housing model
Research by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business found that of the estimated 17 million renters in the UK, 70% – or 12 million adults – don’t intend to become homeowners.
Home ownership statistics from Eurostat place the UK ahead of only Denmark, Austria and Germany in terms of the proportion of owner-occupied dwellings.
The study said the average price paid by first-time buyers in 2017 was £207,693, more than 50% higher than five years previously when the same property cost on average £138,663, an increase of nearly £70,000, or £1,150 every month.
While affordability is cited as a reason for people thinking they will not be able to buy a home, a fifth of those not looking to buy don’t want the financial commitment that comes with owning a home.
For others, the attractiveness of not owning is flexibility, with 9% wanting to be free to travel and 8% not wanting to be tied to a local area. Over a fifth (22%) of those not planning to buy think the cost of maintaining a property is too high and would rather have a landlord deal with any issues that may arise.
Christina Dimitrov, business manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “The UK housing market continues to change and we are seeing a major attitudinal shift when it comes to renting. While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property rather than jumping into home ownership.”