What do you think of when you picture the typical renter? Chances are you’re picturing a twenty-something, early on in their career, for whom renting is just a stepping stone on the way to becoming a homeowner. The reality looks very different.
Rising house prices in the UK have outpaced salaries, with the average home (outside London) now costing £230,292 (up from just £70,000 in 1998). That’s almost eight times more than the average salary of £29,588 a year. First-time buyers typically spend eight years saving to buy a home, which has resulted in the number of people renting rising 63% between 2007 and 2017. People are also renting for longer – home ownership, something that was once the norm, has become a pipe dream for many, rather than being a stop-gap before the first rung on the property ladder. Renting has become a permanent state of affairs.