There is finally a glimmer of home for renters

You belong to generation rent if you are a “young adult who, because of high house prices, lives in rented accommodation while being regarded as having little chance of becoming a homeowner.”

The English Housing Survey revealed that in “2014-15, the average age of first-time buyers was 33, up from 31 in 2004-05. Younger people (between the ages of 25 and 34) are much more likely to rent privately than buy a property with a mortgage.”

Being a part of generation rent in the UK generally means you live at the whims of your landlord whether they are reliable or complete scamming cowboys.

And if you rent in London chances are you are paying more monthly than people across the country do on their mortgages.

But there is finally a silver lining around this purse squeezing cloud.

Countrywide, the UK’s largest property services group, reported that Rents in Great Britain were £5 a month lower than in February last year.

They reported the fall to be due to lower rents in London and the South East where rents fell 4.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent retrospectively.

The countrywide report said: “slowdown in average rental growth is driven by a fall in the number of tenants looking for a home combined with higher numbers of homes available to rent in London and the South East.”

But the growth in stock is slowing which may later push up rent prices due to supply not fitting the demand for rental properties.

This has been the first annual drop since 2010. In February the average national rent was down by £5 to £921 a month.

However, countrywide also reported that rents are still 14 per cent more, £112 a month, than at their previous peak in 2007.

Rents do however continue to rise in all other regions of Great Britain. Excluding London, average rents rose 0.8 per cent year-on-year and the number of homes to rent increased by 9 per cent.

In London, the amount of people looking to rent was down by 3 per cent and in the South East it was down by 5 per cent.

While in the rest of the country, tenants looking for a home was up by 5 per cent with the biggest increases in the East Midlands, the East and the North West.

Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said recent changes in the property market could be attributed to Brexit. “Economic and housing sentiment – both in sales and rental markets – has been affected by our vote to leave the EU, in London more than anywhere else. This uncertainty causes tenants to be more cautious, meaning they’re less likely to move and more likely to look for cheaper accommodation, e.g. sharing,”.

“With the private rented sector home to around three-quarters of new migrants, any future substantial shift in migration patterns would likely have a knock-on effect on rents.” Morris also said 2017 looks set to be “a rare year where rents rise faster in the north of the country than in the south”.

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