Rising UK house prices have left many middle-age workers unable to afford a first home, or as accidental renters after a relationship break-up, which is why significantly more older tenants are now renting from a private landlord than they were a few years ago.
Given that there is now more of a focus on supporting young first-time buyers, many older tenants now risk being ignored, which may partly explain why Grainger has seen a notable rise in the number of people in their thirties and forties embracing renting.
Helen Gordon, the head of Grainger which is the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, says that her firm has seen a rise in the number of renters aged between 35 and 44, especially in London.
She told the press: “That is partly because our flats are seen as an attractive alternative to people priced off the housing ladder. But, there has also been a mindset change in society: not everyone feels the need to own anymore.”
Grainger, which operates around 8400 rental homes, plans to develop 8,200 more properties to cater for growing demand from renters.
Research commissioned by Intus Lettings earlier this year found that there had been a 15% rise in the number of people renting a home aged 35-54 in the last three years as they struggle to get a mortgage.
The study also revealed that just under a fifth of renters over 55 believe that they will ever be able to afford to buy a property.
Reasons noted in the survey included general affordability and problems getting a mortgage due to age.
Hope McKendrick, lettings manager at Intus Lettings, said: “With the cost of rent rising faster than wages, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of people find themselves unable to save up for a deposit to buy a home well into their 40s, 50s and beyond.
“The survey results revealing that a large proportion of older renters don’t believe they’ll ever be able to buy a home is a particularly worrying trend, as only around one-in-five middle-aged tenants feel renting actually suits their lifestyle.”
McKendrick added: “Given that nearly half of renters aged between 35 and 54 live with their children, the pressures can mean added stress for parents and families.”