Silver renters on the rise

Posted by Kirstie Brown in Personal Finance on 29 September 2016 - Kirstie is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

Results from a recent survey carried out by letting agent Your Move has found that renting is no longer a young person’s game, signalling the rise of the ‘Silver Renter’. The study shows that there are 4.5m privately rented households in the UK, which in the next few years is expected to grow to 6m. Of the 6,500 participants, it was found that 22% of renters were aged between 46 and 55, while 18% were over the age of 55.

Valerie Bannister from Your Move says, “These results show very clearly that renting is becoming extremely important across the UK. The rise of the silver renter may seem surprising, but increasingly thousands of people have turned to the private rental sector as the most convenient option available to them, following a change in personal circumstance. Now more than ever, it is important that this sector offers good quality, well managed properties that allow tenants to feel at home in them.”

However the research has found that only a quarter of tenants between the ages of 18 and 25 were satisfied with renting, with 80% wanting to own their own home in the future. In comparison, almost half of the over 55 age group said that they were happy renting, with only 19% saying that they wanted to own their own place. Regardless of age, 81% of those surveyed said that renting suited their lifestyle, whether this was permanent or temporary.

Valerie Bannister goes on to say, “Many of the younger tenants in our survey have aspirations to own their own home in the future. However, the endemic lack of affordable housing to buy across the UK, coupled with a low savings-rate environment, is making it increasingly difficult for want-to-be homeowners to buy their first home. The private rental sector needs to answer this issue by becoming a first choice tenure, and not just the second best option.

”If the flexibility of renting can be combined with the stability and reassurance of longer residencies, and fewer restrictions around making the space 'feel like home', for many, renting would be considered a better long-term, as well as short-term, option.”

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