Monday 20 February 2017 5:04 pm

Generations Rent? Young and old expect to be long-term renters

Up to a decade of rent is stretching out before the UK’s renters, according to the property and construction consultants McBains Cooper.

Of the London-based respondents to a survey conducted by McBains, one-in-three renters said they expect to continue renting for the next five to ten years.

Within the 45-59 year old bracket, 52 per cent of respondents said they anticipated renting for five to ten years and 76 per cent of 60+ year olds expected to be renting for the same period.

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The survey suggested that attitudes towards rent had changed since the government’s 2010 report, Public Attitudes to Housing in England. Michael Thirkettle, chief executive of McBains Cooper said: “For some it might be because they are priced out of the housing market, for others, it may also reflect a more Continental attitude where people are content to rent rather than buy.”

McBains surveyed 2000 people about their experiences of the rental sector, with one in four respondents saying they spend around 40 per cent of their income on rent. Within London, the number was slightly higher, with 31 per cent of those surveyed spending more than 40 per cent of their income on their accommodation.

Access to outdoor space was a priority for 29 per cent of respondents, while affordability (71 per cent) and room size (41 per cent) and proximity to transport were the greatest concerns for those renting a home.

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Michael Thirkettle said: “Interestingly, a high proportion of the older generation are now long-term renters.”

“This might reflect the more ‘traditional’ characteristics in terms of the most important factors people look for when choosing rented accommodation – such as room size and a garden or outdoor space, as opposed to amenities like sports facilities or a cinema and internal communal spaces.”

Last month, the Association of Residential Letting Agents said demand for privately rented flats and houses had fallen to a two year low across the country. Asking rents in London fell by 4.4 per cent in London during 2016.