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London renters say owning would improve life

Jake Carter

October 4, 2021

london

The majority (63%) of London renters believe owning a home would improve their quality of life, according to affordable housing developer Pocket Living. 

However, only 22% of London renters were found to be currently able to save money for a deposit.

Of the 1,008 respondents, 38% owned their own home, 52% rented and 8% lived with their parents.

The research found that owning a home was a key aspiration 73% of renters surveyed, yet property prices remained the biggest obstacle for 51%.

Three in 10 (30%) claimed they could not afford a mortgage, and 27% said they were struggling to raise a deposit.

Pocket’s research suggested that London could potentially lose 15% of 25 to 45-year-olds in the next 12 months, with 12% of all age groups considering buying outside of the city.

However, 62% of respondents said that they would not like to move outside of London in search of affordable housing, as they would have to sacrifice too much to do so.

Of those currently renting in London, 69% would look to continue renting in London over the next year.

Of the 38% of respondents who owned their home, the majority said their stability in life (72%) and quality of life (71%) has been better since buying.

A similar number (68%) also experienced an increase in productivity since owning their property, which can be potentially derived from having more space for home working.

In addition, 71% were extremely or very satisfied living in London, and 75% agreed London is a special place to live in.

More than half of owners (56%) would recommend prospective first-time buyers look for a home in London first.

Of those working in London, 81% said that new housing in the capital should consider hybrid working and lifestyle balances within its design post-pandemic.

Marc Vlessing, chief executive officer at Pocket Living, said: “First-time buyers have suffered in silence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many of them are city makers: the young doctors, nurses and teachers who have kept vital services running in the face of unprecedented disruption since March 2020, or those in the private sector, working from home in the technology or media industries in less-than-ideal conditions, sharing kitchen tables with flat mates while trying to drown out their friends’ Zoom calls and missing out on mentoring from senior colleagues.

“Almost all of them maintain a desire to own their own homes in London despite being thwarted by a range of obstacles, from affordability to instability of work, with the city continuing to be a magnet for those who enjoy the balance it provides those looking to live independently whilst still being surrounded by a buzzing and vibrant community.

“In London alone we’ve found that many of the city makers we speak to feel priced out of the Capital before hearing about Pocket homes.

“To combat this there needs to be a greater acceleration in the delivery of homes that meet the renewed needs of first-time buyers outlined within this research.

“In turn, greater supply will allow prices to remain manageable for first-time buyers and help them get onto the ladder within the communities they already call home.

“With Michael Gove now at the helm as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, it will be interesting to see how the government looks to unlock more sought-after new homes for our next generation of Londoners.

“The First Homes policy alone won’t achieve this and needs to be reconsidered if it is to have the impact the Help to Buy initiative had.”


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