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Are we on course to become Nation Rent?

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New research questions whether the UK could lose status as a nation of homeowners, with the percentage of owner-occupied homeowners falling by -5% since 2010.

The study from letting compliance specialists VeriSmart shows that as homeowners, the UK currently stands at the 24th lowest of all 28 EU nations. 

In contrast, the UK is home to the fifth highest number of tenant-occupiers of all EU nations, behind Germany, Austria, Denmark and France.

The data also reveals that in the UK:

  • since 2010, the number of occupants in the rental sector has grown by 5%;
  • homeowners currently account for 65% of the market.

Based on the previous decline in homeownership levels, the analysis suggests that by 2039, 50.7% of Brits will be renting versus 49.3% owning their own home.

If the trend continues, by 2045, this will have grown to 55% of the nation living in the rental sector to 45% classed as owner-occupants.

Commenting on the study, a VeriSmart spokesman said: "We are currently seeing a shifting mentality in the way we choose to live our lives, and for Generation Rent, in particular, there is no longer that urgency to make it out of the rental sector and secure their own 'piece' of bricks and mortar.

“This was initially driven by consistently buoyant house price growth coupled with stagnant wage growth providing no other option but to rent, however, social rental numbers are falling, Build-to-Rent is growing in prominence, and there has been a number of tenant-friendly changes to the sector.

"All of these changes are making the rental sector a more attractive place to be, and as a result, we are seeing more of us opt for it and stay there for much longer than we may have traditionally."