Traditionally, many tenants were people struggling financially to justify or afford a loan/mortgage preventing them hopping onto the housing ladder. Over recent years we have seen a massive profile change in tenants’ reasons for renting. Interestingly, there has been a surge of people wishing to rent in cities and towns as well as a strong demand for country rentals.
There is a varied profile of people, so who are the city tenants and who are the country renters and, why are they renting?
Families refusing to put their lives on hold
Due to the exorbitant and very expensive cost of selling and buying, principally the SDLT levels, families have opted to retain their London houses to rent, allowing them to offset the cost of renting in the country. Education and high quality schooling outside of the Capital is playing a significant role in families making this fundamental decision. A change of lifestyle, quality of living, being able to rent a larger house giving more space and a bigger garden are also key reasons. Being able to park your car outside your house in the country is another important element for some.
Rental prices in major cities such as London also play a significant part in the important decision making process. Even in today’s housing climate, higher prices are often easier to achieve in cities with prices outside of the cities and larger towns comparatively lower on a square footage comparison.
Taking the long term view on property prices
Once a property has been extended and renovated to its maximum potential, pressure to consider other housing options is a
regular topic of conversation. Families who live in London have found it difficult to justify the increase in costs of upsizing for minimal gain in size, more space and a better location. People are reluctant to sell now and many owners consider the long term view, preferring to hold onto their valuable asset.
Whilst many view renting as a stop gap for just a few years, people are now considering renting for much longer and even as long as 10 – 15 years while their children go through primary and secondary education.
In the longer term, it makes good financial and economic sense to take a long term view.
The weekend retreat
A significant number of professional couples as well as families like to leave the busy city life at weekends. Seeing the heavy traffic on the roads on Friday evenings and the return journey back to the cities on Sunday evenings supports this.
We have seen a significant up surge in demand for the ideal weekend retreat over the past two years, looking for the quintessential cottage or simply a suitable base for the weekends. Typically, no more than a ninety minute commute from their London home by road and often close to a main line train station in order to maximise their time in the country. A regular scenario is for the nanny or mother to get on the road straight from school with working parents arriving later by train.
Weekenders like the luxury of having a gardener included in the rent; they also prefer modern conveniences but traditional features – new kitchens and bathrooms in properties that have character and charm.
The Ex-Pat renters
Demand for rental properties for ex-pats living in the UK for their work, continues to play a noteworthy part of the rental market in both towns and cities. Often on a fixed term contract and a budget, their focus will be on the location accessible to their place of work, schooling for their children, quality of the property, and value for money. It is these factors that will influence where they choose to live and what they will or won’t pay a premium for.