Three million renters give up on homeownership

Sarah Davidson

November 10, 2014

The study, which was carried out with 1,200 renters, found that more than a third (34%) never expect to be able to buy.

A quarter (25%) of 25-34 year olds never anticipate buying, while this rises to a third (35%) of 35-44 year olds and half (50%) of 45-54 year olds.

The main reasons for choosing to rent are not being able to afford to buy a house (56%), the landlord taking responsibility if something goes wrong (28%) and being cheaper than buying (22%).

Louise Colley, protection director for Aviva, said: “It’s perhaps no surprise that more families are living in rented accommodation, but our research suggests an increasing number are viewing rented accommodation as a long-term – or even permanent – way of family living as house prices rise.

“While a significant number still hope to own a home one day, more than a quarter say they don’t want to own their home because they’re happy renting. There are lots of advantages of renting, particularly if people don’t want to be tied to a particular location or property.

“However, we also know that renters don’t always get the same level of financial advice that they often get when buying a home with a mortgage, so we would urge all families to think about the future and put financial plans in place – just so they’re prepared for the unexpected, whatever their living arrangements.”

Renters are getting older, as in 2008-09 a third (31%) of households in the 25-34 age band rented privately, yet by 2012-13 this increased to 45%.

Indeed, the 25-34 age band has rented 434,000 additional households since 2008-09.

While 15% of renters said they are saving for a deposit, one in five has been doing so while renting for over 10 years.

Renters in London are especially optimistic about homeownership, as four in 10 (38%) said they were either saving for a deposit or waiting until they find the right house compared to 25% in the West Midlands.

As well as people who said they want to own but can’t afford to (34%) a further 28% are happy renting instead.

These ‘happy renters’ were most likely to be found in the West Midlands (41%) and Scotland (39%), while the figure was lowest in the South West (17%) and London (18%).

Sign up to our daily email