The government is urged to end its “penalisation” of landlords on the back of a new study showing the majority of the UK’s private tenants don’t want to buy a home.
The Landbay study, based on responses from 2,000 private renters in the UK, has only 42% of private tenants interested in getting on the housing ladder in the near future.
Landbay CEO john Goodall said it was now crucial that investment in the private-rental sector becomes a priority – with government focussing on boosting purpose-built rental properties and not the penalisation of landlords.
He said: “This research suggests the UK’s enthusiasm for homeownership may be waning. Conversations around the private rental sector often assume the bulk of renters are simply biding their time until they can buy a house.
“However, the changing face of employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, and landlords should reflect this in their interactions with tenants.”
The survey showed older renters as particularly uninterested in owning. with only 13% of over-55s interested in buying a home in the near future and less than half (46%) of those aged 35-44 interested.
Millennials (aged 25-34) are leading the charge for home ownership, with almost two-thirds (64%) keen to buy in the near future.
The responses also expose a notable gender discrepancy, with 47% of women keen to buy a home, compared to just 34% of men.
Women who want to buy are more likely than men to want to invest their money rather than pay rent (48% vs 39%) and make decorating decisions (20% vs 14%), while male would-be buyers are keen to have a connection to the local area (8% vs 4%) and have more space (25% vs 24%).
The number of people planning to buy is highest in London, at 48%, and Northern Ireland, at 47%.
Those in the South West and Wales are least likely, both coming in at 37%.
For those who aren’t interested in buying, the flexibility of renting is the biggest positive.
A quarter (25%) of renters without home ownership aspirations say the flexibility of renting proves too tempting to resist.
6% attribute their plan to move to a new country, and 5% plan to move to a new city or a new job.