Homeowners are happier than renters

Michael Lloyd

May 15, 2019

People who own their home outright rate their life satisfaction higher than those living in both private and social rented housing, ONS data has found.

Within the rental sector, the data reveals that those renting in social housing rate life satisfaction lower than those who rent privately.

Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “We’re a nation of aspirational homeowners and so it’s no surprise that those who have managed to own their own home will feel more satisfied with themselves, compared to those that remain resigned to a rental market plagued by issues of affordability.

“However, with employment levels at record highs and those listed as employed leading the way when it comes to homeownership, we should hopefully see more and more tenants make the jump to homeowner over the coming years and enjoy an uplift in life satisfaction when they do.”

The data shows that there is a larger amount of people living in social housing who are either single, have bad health or are unemployed compared to those with a mortgage.

Almost half (42.1%) of those living in social housing claimed to be employedcompared to 83.3% of those who bought with a mortgage or loan.

Of those in social housing, 16.6% are in ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health, compared with 4% of those privately renting and 3% of those with a mortgage.

The ONS reports that age is the personal characteristic most strongly related to lifesatisfaction, and is reportedly higher on average for younger adults, dropping to its lowest point when people are in their 40s.

Life satisfaction rises again as people near retirement age, and dips as people entertheir 80s.

Chris Knight, chief executive at Legal & General Retail Retirement, added: “It’s great to see that individuals at and in retirement are some of the happiest people in our society.

“It often lasts much longer, and is more varied and active. Today’s retirees are travelling the world, having experiences with the grandkids or renovating their homes.

“From a financial point of view, however, planning to make your money last for 20 or 30 years can be daunting. Legal & General’s research suggests that the financial decisions people make about how they choose to receive an income from their pension could directly affect their wellbeing.

“Legal & General, we believe there is a role for financial services to play to help people enjoy longer, happier and healthier retirements.”

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