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Attitudes towards renting and homeownership in the UK are evolving, with many Britons preferring the freedom and flexibility that renting provides.


  • Changing generational attitudes mean that 12 million people in the UK are renting their homes and have no intention of buying them in the future
  • Wanting less financial commitment, the freedom to travel and not wanting to deal with repairs cited as just some of the reasons behind the burgeoning preference to rent
  • As more people look to move into the private rented sector, it places a greater emphasis on investment into providing enough supply to facilitate this demand

The UK is moving towards a ‘German-style housing model’, with future generations forecast to most likely live in rented accommodation.

Research from a new study by insurer Direct Line for Business has found that, out of the 17 million people currently renting in the UK, around 70% (12 million) have no plans to purchase a property in the future.

With the average property price for a first-time buyer in the UK now 50% higher than it was five years ago, naturally affordability is a concern for many renters. However, 22% of those people not looking to buy claim that they simply do not want to be burdened with the financial commitment that comes with owning a home.

Flexibility is a key factor for tenants today, and renting provides tenants with a greater sense of freedom as opposed to owning a property. 9% of the survey said they want to be free to travel, and 8% said they rent so that they’re not tied down to the local area in which they currently reside.

Furthermore, 22% of those not looking to buy added that they believe the cost of maintaining their home would be too expensive, and instead prefer to have a landlord or management team on hand to resolve any maintenance issues on their behalf.

“The UK housing market continues to change and we are seeing a major attitudinal shift when it comes to renting,” said Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business.

“While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property, rather than jumping into homeownership.”

These findings follow a report published in April which highlighted that over 40% of millennials in the UK will now rent their entire lives.

As the demand for rental accommodation rises, it will continue to increase the pressure on rental markets in key UK towns and cities. In Manchester, for example, a city with one of the country’s fastest growing rental markets, it’s anticipated that residential housing delivery will meet just 25% of annual demand by 2022.

Source: Select Property

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