More than half of tenants in London feel less able to buy than a year ago
Some 64% of tenants in London’s private rented sector want to own their own home but more than half feel less able to buy than a year ago, new research has found.
Overall 71% of tenants are happy living in a rented home, but only 25% want to stay living in rented property long term, according to a study from Kinleigh Folkard and Hayward (KFH).
Of those wanting to buy over half, 52%, feel the chances of doing so has decreased over the last 12 months and 48% of tenants expect rents to rise 1.1% over the next 12 months.
On average, tenants expect to continue renting in London for a little over four years but the vast majority expect to pay more with just 2% thinking that rents will fall.
‘The desire to own a home does not appear to be diminishing among London’s renters and schemes like Help to Buy, increased mortgage availability and changes to stamp duty have helped ease the path to ownership,’ said Carol Pawsey, group lettings director at KFH.
‘But high buying costs mean many expect to rent for the foreseeable future and want property that adequately meets their expectations. It’s therefore important that landlords, PRS portfolio owners and build to rent developers understand the demands of their customers,’ she added.
The research also shows that the highest priority among tenants when choosing property is rental price with 77% feeling that this is important while 65% said location, 51% said property size and 47% transport links.
Built to Rent developers are increasingly providing shared facilities such as gyms, cinema rooms and entertaining areas but the research shows these are low on the list of tenant priorities with just 5% wanting them.
Also low in terms of priorities is good quality mobile phone reception with just 7% of respondents naming it as a must while 12% named high internet speeds.
Pawsey suggested that while such features are often seen as a way of attracting tenants and standing out from the competition, developers need to look carefully at what impact these features will have on their bottom line and whether they will make a real difference to the appeal of their properties.
‘It’s important they don’t lose sight of what drives tenant decision making more than anything else such as price and location,’ she added.
The findings also revealed that the average household is paying £1,600 per calendar month and the average tenant is aged 37 while 32% have non-rent paying dependents living in their household.