If you are annoyed by the constant government narrative that all those who rent are unhappy, failed home owners denied the delights of bricks and mortar by high house prices and unhelpful lenders, then research by London agent Benham & Reeves Residential Lettings should cheer you up.
It interviewed 1,400 of its tenants in the capital, where it has four branches in North London, to ask them about why they rented – part of the largest survey of its customer base that the company has ever completed.
London’s very diverse mix of tenant nationalities was revealed. Some 18% of the respondents were non-British residents working for a relatively short period in the capital – and therefore less likely to buy in London.
Only 3.66% of those in the survey were renting because they had been turned down for a mortgage because they did not earn enough, while 5.76% had been turned down because their deposit was not large enough.
Some 17.8% of those in the survey said they were saving up a deposit to buy a property.
But over half of tenants in the survey classed themselves as ‘lifestyle’ renters with 24% saying they chose to rent because it suited them, while 31% said they rented so they could live in a more upmarket area than they could afford to buy in.
“I think that in labelling Millennials as Generation Rent, the older generations are prescribing their own values onto the younger one,” says Benham & Reeves Lettings Director Marc von Grundherr.
“Whereas Baby Boomers or Generation X craved the stability and financial security of home ownership, today’s young professionals see things differently.”