Friday, February 26, 2016

The Rise of Property Rentals in London

Renting in London is seen as a stage on the way to a mortgage and home ownership. Young professionals live in shared houses or flats, and couples rent before putting down roots and starting a family.

Increasingly, though, property to rent is being sought by older tenants. In 1995, most first time home buyers were in their mid to late twenties. Today, many of us continue to rent into our mid-thirties and beyond.

In the European housing market, long term rent by families and older people is much more common than it is in the UK. Renting later in life is not seen as unusual, and tenants have more rights. It is likely that property letting in London and the South East will start to follow this model, as renters come to form a larger share of the market.

Lifestyle changes mean more of us are living alone, or living with a partner but choosing not to have children. Renting provides the freedom to relocate for work,
and can allow tenants to live in areas where they could not afford to buy property. Without the commitment of a mortgage, renters tend to have more disposable income, too.

However, many people continue to rent not out of choice, but because property prices in London mean they simply cannot afford to buy, even with the mortgage rates and special deals offered by banks and building societies. For middle aged and older renters, the future can look uncertain.

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