Blog January 16, 2019

Charting UK Property Trends: The rental market

By Jack Harrison

In December 2018, MRI Software compiled and published results from its industry-wide survey in a report titled Charting UK Property Trends. Our series of blogs looks at the key findings, focusing here on the UK rental market.

With more than a fifth of the UK population now living in privately rented accommodation, the growth in the residential rental market is showing few signs of slowing. Indeed, our recent industry survey revealed that 77% of property professionals canvassed believe demand for rental properties will increase in the next 12-18 months – with as many as nine out of 10 saying that the private rented sector will become even more important to the overall UK housing sector during that the same period. But what’s driving this boom among ‘Generation Rent’, and what are the factors at play that are seeing them rent for longer?

One of the most obvious is the relatively high cost of home ownership; 82% of our respondents suggesting that buying conditions are unlikely to improve in the short-term. General economic uncertainty – particularly around Brexit – also has an influence as even those who have the financial power to buy may delay.

Yes, the reality is that rising house prices is a fundamental reason for the increased number of renters. But, in turn, as more people rent and the market expands, so too does the choice and quality available – making it a more attractive proposition. As eight out of 10 property professionals identify, because ‘Generation Rent’ is renting for longer they are driving demand for higher quality stock and a better resident experience. For example, our research shows that a highspeed broadband service is of paramount importance across various demographics, with proximity to public transport and accessible restaurants and bars also a requirement for the majority. And it’s clear that these elements are no longer ‘ideals’, they are expectations – and developments and properties that don’t deliver are at a clear disadvantage.

Another looming event that will impact the space is the government’s lettings fee ban. For renters who will no longer face the burden of various transactional fees, it will be just one more pro in the rental column – and yet more evidence that this fast-growing market is most certainly here to stay.

To find out more you can download the complete report here.

You can also listen to MRI’s Marketing Director for EMEA, James Lavery, discuss the report on an episode of the Building Success real estate podcast below:

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