With house prices now six times the average income across London, the dream of owning your own home is becoming just that, a dream. A survey revealed that a third of 25 to 34-year-olds would choose to save for a deposit on a house but 27% said living under a landlord’s roof was a long-term solution.
This poses a big question; are we being forced to rent in London due to soaring house prices or are the ‘Millennials’ choosing to rent as a lifestyle? Since 2006, home-ownership among those younger than 35 has fallen by 18%, according to the Pew Research Center. Gone are the days when young couples get married and move into their own homes to begin a family. Older people are living in flat-shares with 29% of those aged over 55 are still renting when they reach retirement.
Choosing to rent makes me wonder; are the Millennials here to stay? We were informed earlier on this year that the number of people fleeing the capital to live elsewhere has jumped more than 80% in the last five years. In the year to June 2016, we witnessed a record amount of people 93,300 leaving London – Savills provided information that this is largely due to cheaper housing costs. The Guardian reported that over-25s from Islington are most likely to move to St Albans in Hertfordshire, which allows them to buy a house for £173,000 less than in London. Meanwhile, those leaving Ealing gravitate towards Slough, where the average home is £241,000 cheaper than London.
Perhaps, we can’t find what we are looking for in London? Modern architecture is ugly although ironically “Britain’s 10 largest housebuilding firms build around 60 percent of our new private homes.” Bath, York, Chichester, Oxford and Cambridge are among the towns listed in the ‘Sunday Times 20 nicest places to live in Britain’ survey (2017) and funnily enough, they all feature Georgian architecture. House prices consistently show bigger increases for more traditional buildings. London terraced houses built before the First World war went up in value by 465 percent between 1983 and 2013, compared to 255 percent for a post-war property of the same type.
So, what are the lifestyle perks to renting?
- Amenities – Many residential buildings/estates feature free amenities for their tenants that would typically be a significant cost for a homeowner. Ranging from flat-screen TV’s, laundry service, concierge and cleaning service, premium television, gyms, spa’s – the works!
- Community – Living in a residential building creates a sense of community for tenants that call it home. Often the managing agent also hosts monthly/quarterly events that you can attend for free. This is particularly advantageous for anyone new to the City who may be looking to meet like-minded people.
- Flexibility – A lot of people believe that buying a new family home will relieve you of the noisy neighbours and allow you to live the lifestyle you had always dreamed of. However, for millennials change is inevitable; they tend to change jobs three times more often than their older counterparts. What if your career gives you the opportunity to move abroad?
- Convenience – As a homeowner, there are loads of responsibilities that come with it, for example, if your boiler breaks you are responsible for it! Renting keeps home maintenance out of tenants’ budgets and out of their weekend-to-do-list.
Are you a part of ‘Generation Rent?’ Or are you already on the property ladder? At GKR London, 31% of our employees already own their own home, 48% of our employees would buy in London if they could afford to, and 21% foresee renting as their future, by choice. GKR London Property Recruitment is currently supporting a variety of property companies across London recruiting the people who make renting or buying your new home possible. We have positions available in Property Management, Estate Agency, Quantity Surveying, Office Agency, Building Surveying, Project Management, Fit Out and Office/Team Support. Get in touch with us today to launch your career.