Mortgages and house prices drive Brits to sell up and rent

Mortgages and house prices drive Brits to sell up and rent

05 January 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

Brits are adopting the European habit of renting instead of owning their homes, as a result of the mortgage and housing market crash.

More than 1.75 million homeowners told Unbiased.co.uk that they would consider selling their home and renting, mirroring the Continental habit of not owning their own home.

Furthermore, the notion of owning one's home no longer holds such importance for renters, as 12 per cent said that they no longer aspire to obtain the status symbol of property ownership.

A third of homeowners who said that they would sell their home in favour of renting are converts who would not have considered this before the housing market crash.

Another third are being prevented from doing so by house prices, because they would not generate enough from the sale of their home in the current market.

Those who are already renting explain that their motives for doing so include having more freedom, without the burden, hassle, or responsibility of owning their own property.

However, while six per cent of renters have been dissuaded from buying by the property crash, it has thwarted the aspirations of a further seven per cent who do want to own their home but are unable to do so due to the lack of affordable mortgage deals available.

The research also shows that the older the renter, the more blasé they are about becoming homeowners, as 22 per cent of those in the 18 to 34 bracket are keen to buy  their own home, compared to six per cent of those aged 35-54 and two per cent of renters aged 55 or older.

Commenting, Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased.co.uk, said that "mixed messages" about the housing market are leaving many potential homeowners in limbo, and that the "property market crash has had a profound effect on the way people view their homes."

Homeowners and renters alike have both been affected, she said; for homeowners, the "worry and stress of this through the property market volatility has caused them to re-think about whether long-term renting is a viable option for them."

Meanwhile, renters are considering the long-term and how homeownership may or may not fit into this: "while some still want to get on the property ladder despite the recent crash, many have now decided that the British status symbol of owning your own home no longer has the same importance," Ms Barrett said.

For those renters who are considering trying to get a foot on the property ladder, Ms Barrett urges them to compare mortgages from across the market and to get mortgage advice.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd