Ome: 44% have had to dip into deposit savings during COVID-19 crisis

Jessica Bird

May 6, 2020

tenancy deposit

The latest research by rental deposit replacement scheme Ome has found that 44% of people saving to buy or rent a property have had to dip into these savings to help with financial difficulties caused by COVID-19.

For the remaining 56%, their savings pots remained intact for the time being.

Those looking to accumulate a rental deposit were worse off, with 31% dipping into money that had originally been saved to secure a rental property, compared to 13% of prospective buyers.

Matthew Hooker, co-founder of Ome, said: “It’s reassuring to see that the majority of people are yet to dip into their hard-earned savings pot in order to get by in the current crisis.

“However, for a vast number of people, the financial trouble caused by the current pandemic has seen them already relying on these savings.

“Most of these are existing or potential tenants looking to accumulate a rental deposit and this comes as no surprise, as renting is becoming more of a lifestyle choice yet can often be as financially stretching as homeownership.

“The consequence of this is that many will now have to defer their move until such time they’ve accumulated the savings lost to lockdown survival and as a result, both the rental and sales markets will take longer to return to full strength.

“The other worrying factor is that a rental deposit, while sizeable, is lower than that of a property purchase and for those struggling, it may only tide them over for a month, maybe two at best.

“This suggests that come next month when the bills are due, many more existing and prospective tenants could hit real financial hardship with little or no savings left to rely on.”

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