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Growing numbers of older tenants drives demand for rented property

Wednesday 09 January 2019

The number of people renting a home aged 35 to 54 has risen by 15 per cent in the last three years as they struggle to get a mortgage, according to new research.

Those who rent say that not being able to afford a deposit or not meeting mortgage criteria as the main reasons for not being able to get on the property ladder, in the survey of more than 2,000 tenants.

The report, commissioned by Intus Lettings, suggests that the struggle which those renting property face in getting onto the housing market ladder may be worsening, despite house price growth slowing.

Residential Landlords Association (RLA) policy director David Smith says that “the growth in the number of older tenants is one factor behind an increase in demand for rented housing at a time when an increasing number of landlords are not investing in more properties or are selling off homes because of government tax rises on the sector.”

The number of people aged 45 to 54 who revealed they are renting due to not being able to afford a house deposit has grown by a third since 2016 according to the data, while just under a fifth of renters over 55 believe they’ll ever be able to afford to buy a property.

Reasons noted in the survey included general affordability and problems getting a mortgage due to age.

Younger renters were more optimistic about the chances of owning a property in the future, with 43 per cent of tenants aged 18 to 24 saying they couldn’t afford a deposit. However, most of this age group said they were putting aside less than £50 per month towards one.

Hope McKendrick, lettings manager at Intus Lettings: “With the cost of rent rising faster than wages, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people find themselves unable to save up for a deposit to buy a home well into their 40s, 50s and beyond.

“The survey results revealing that a large proportion of older renters don’t believe they’ll ever be able to buy a home is a particularly worrying trend, as only around one in five middle aged tenants feel renting actually suits their lifestyle.

“Stability can be one of the biggest concerns for those renting a home, from keeping up with rising rents to not knowing if you’ll be in the same home this time next year.”

Here at Simple Landlords Insurance we’ve been tracking this trend with news items about the calls on government to help the lettings industry do more for older renters, as well as the buy-to-let opportunities it represents for shrewd landlords.

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