Confirmed: A generation shunning home ownership in favour of renting?

Confirmed: A generation shunning home ownership in favour of renting?

As home ownership levels in England fall to their lowest levels in 30 years, research reveals a generation who are choosing to rent.



  • 49% of under 25s say they don’t want a mortgage and that renting suites their lifestyle
  • As ownership rates fall, the number of private renters doubles
  • Private rented sector now the second largest form of tenure after home ownership


Home ownership in England has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years, while ownership rates among 25 year olds have dropped from 46% to just 20% in the last two decades, according to research from the Local Government Association (LGA).

This fall in home ownership corresponds with a doubling in the proportion of private renters across England, while the lack of affordable housing can be attributed in part to the decline, the bigger picture actually reveals a generation who are now actively choosing to rent. A Tenant Survey by Knight Frank confirmed that 38% of under 35s and 49% of under 25s said they didn’t want a mortgage and that renting suited their lifestyle.

Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, comments: “There has been a generational shift in the private rented sector (PRS). More households are now living in rented accommodation for longer, and while housing affordability is certainly a factor here, rented accommodation is also becoming an established flexible form of tenure, an attribute welcomed especially among younger workers.”

Gilmore also points out that the PRS is continuing to grow with 20% of households now let out to private tenants, establishing the PRS as the second largest form of tenure after home ownership, overtaking the social rented sector.

The PRS industry only looks set to grow over the next few years with experts at Knight Frank estimating investment to rise to £50 billion by 2020, This means there is a shift of emphasis in property investment, away from medium-term capital appreciation to long-term income-generating assets.

Select Property’s Build to Rent development, Affinity Living is designed with the social generation (generation Y) in mind and aims to encourage shared experiences, social interaction and a sense of community through a variety of on-site social spaces and amenities. Doors are due to open for the first development ‘Affinity Living Riverside’ in 2018.


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