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Thousands Trapped By Generation Rent

by Alison Feemantle

In recent weeks and months, much of the focus in the property market has been on rental properties and the constant argument between buying and renting. Recent surveys have indicated that in pure financial terms, renting is actually a better option and other positives continue to be highlighted.

On the downside, we’ve seen a rise in complaints about landlords to the Ombudsman and while it seems that property rental is a growth area, it’s been suggested that it’s not exactly a preferred option and there are many who would rather own their home but are simply unable to do so.

A recent survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Countrywide, who include an estate agency, a lettings arm and a mortgage broker within their business and are therefore ideally placed to offer an unbiased view of all sides of the market.

The survey of 18-34 year olds found that 45 per cent claimed that the issue of deposit affordability was the biggest stumbling block to buying a home. More tellingly, of the private tenants surveyed, only 32 per cent declared that they were happy where they were and just 5 per cent of tenants claimed that they were delaying a property purchase because they believed that house prices would fall.

“We see first-hand that mortgage deposit and repayment affordability remain the biggest issues facing homebuyers in the UK,” said Grenville Turner, Chief Executive of Countrywide.

“These findings confirm that we are at a crossroad for homeownership, where we could see the next generation becoming a nation of renters without the right intervention from Government.

Mr Turner went on to claim that movement in the property market was so slow that it could go on to have serious implications for estate agents all over the UK.

“Based on current levels of activity, the average home owner moves house once every 25 years as opposed to once in every 12 years,” he added.

“These levels are unsustainable and we call for further support as a strong, vibrant housing market contributes to gross domestic product growth and will dramatically improve the economy.”

In amongst all of these statistics Countrywide maintain that the desire to own one’s own home remains high right across the UK. Throughout the first few weeks of the year we’ve seen figures released relating to property market activity but we seem set for a long period of stagnation if those potential buyers remain trapped in unwanted rental arrangements.

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