“Generation Rent”…but is it a good thing?
It will be no surprise to any half-awake human that the UK is in the midst of an acute housing crisis and has been for some time.
The supply of new housing has fallen well behind the numbers required to meet today’s demand (by roughly 100,000 homes per year) and with the UK population set to rise by 10 million in the next quarter century, the problem looks set to worsen.
In a recent analytical study conducted by PwC they predicted that on an average income it would take an individual, considering inflation, around 19 years to save up for a house deposit. 19 years?! Nowadays it is not unusual for houses to “earn” more than the people living in them. In 2015 the average London home made its owner more that £22 an hour during the working week. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it?
This continued rise in property prices and decreased mortgage availability has strangled the pockets of young professionals, meaning that without the bank of mum and dad, jumping onto the ladder is a far off distant dream. It’s meant that since the millennium, the share of 20–39 year-olds who rent privately has more than doubled from 20% to 50%.
So it’s all looking rather dark and gloomy. But is it?
If you take a second to stop and think, the rental market can provide a number of different benefits to a young 20–30 something compared to buying your own home.
Here’s my top 7:
1. Flexibility to move at short notice
We’d all love to be able to take that 6-month work detachment to New York or that promotion and relocation up to Manchester, and with renting, you can. You’re not tied down to a city just because you’ve got a mortgage and a house there. It also allows you, should you so desire, to work freelance and join the ever-growing trend of ‘digital nomadism’. With there predicted to be 1 billion digital nomads in the world by 2035, it’s certainly a lifestyle choice that appeals to many.
2. Less upfront cost that owning
No need to fork out that £40k and cripple yourself for years to come, renting provides a much gentler introduction to the housing market for your wallet.
3. No mortgage worries
Get rid of that black cloud hanging over your head and no longer worry about interest rates, not having a mortgage provides you more flexibility in how you spend your money.
4. Greater choice of location
You’re not forced to live on the outskirts of nowhere with a 2 hour commute to work, renting affords you the opportunity of living in a central location with strong transport links.
5. Better quality home than you could buy
Renting means being able to live in a space that you wouldn’t usually be able to afford if you chose to buy. En-suite bathrooms and bespoke communal areas should be something you come to expect, not wish for.
6. Less responsibility that owning
When you own a house it comes with a huge slice of admin pie plus extra responsibilities to boot, something that maybe right now you’re not particularly interested in. Renting changes that and allows you to focus on things you actually want to be doing in your younger years.
7. Someone else is responsible for maintenance and upkeep
Hot water stopped working? Fridge broken? Garden overgrown? Don’t worry, it’s not your concern. Renting a room in any well established building means you don’t have to concern yourself with the repairs and problems of the property. Just call out the maintenance man, sit back, and watch that TV show instead.
So stop going to bed every night hating yourself for not saving any money AGAIN this month for a house deposit. Choose to rent and make the most of the advantages it has to offer.
At SYZO we’re hoping to provide high-quality serviced homes for young professionals built around the core values of community and convenience. In turn, we hope to provide our members with a much higher standard compared to what is currently on offer throughout the PRS.
With our webpage still under development, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to find out more.