The future of buy to let is rosy, according to new research that suggests tenants don’t want to buy homes of their own.
Only 42% of tenants say they would like to buy a home – meaning around six out of 10 intend to carry on renting.
The most likely not to buy are older renters aged 55 and over, with only one in eight thinking about buying a property.
The idea is most popular with those aged 25 to 34 years old, with 64% – two out of three – interested in buying a home.
The percentage declines to 46% of 35 to 44 year olds.
Geography also plays a part, with the region where most renters want to buy is London. In the capital, 48% of tenants hope to own a home. In contrast, the least likely places for tenants to purchase is the South West or Wales, with just over one in three (37%) eyeing home ownership.
Tenants explained their main reason for not wanting to own a home was the freedom of renting that allowed them to move at short notice (25%). Some commented they did not want to buy as they had a desire to leave the UK (6%) or planned to move around for work (5%).
John Goodall, CEO of Landbay, the lender publishing the study, said: “This research suggests the UK’s enthusiasm for homeownership may be waning. Conversations around the private rental sector often assume the bulk of renters are simply biding their time until they can buy a house.
“However, the changing face of employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, and landlords should reflect this in their interactions with tenants.
“It’s crucial that investment in the private rental sector becomes a priority. What use is Labour’s right to buy policy if renters have no interest in doing so? Instead, the government must focus on encouraging purpose-built rental properties and cease its of landlords.”