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Tenants May Be Uninterested in Labour's 'Right to Buy' Policy

Flexibility is the most popular reason why 58% of tenants are happy to keeping renting privately

Just 42% of renters have intentions to buy a home in the near future

New research reveals the vast majority of renters in the UK have no intentions to purchase a house in the short term.

According to peer-to-peer buy-to-let mortgage lending platform Landbay, fewer than half (42%) of tenants are interested in becoming homeowners in the near future, based on an analysis of 2,000 UK tenants.

Of those that are happy to stay in their rented home, 25% said the main draw of renting was flexibility.

The results reveal that older tenants are the least interested in buying, with only 13% of over-55s considering purchasing in the near future, whilst fewer than half (46%) of 35 to 44-year olds want to buy.

On the other hand, almost two-thirds (64%) of millennials aged 25 to 34 said they want to become homeowners.

Regional analysis shows that tenants in London are the most eager to buy a home in the near future at 48%, closely followed by 47% of renters in Northern Ireland.

By comparison, just 37% of tenants in the South East and South West intend to purchase soon, which Landbay notes is a surprising result given the relative affordability of property in those regions.

Commenting on the findings, the firm’s CEO John Goodall said: “Conversations around the private rental sector often assume the bulk of renters are simply biding their time until they can buy a house.

“However, the changing face of employment and a thirst for flexible living mean renting is more attractive than ever, and landlords should reflect this in their interactions with tenants.”

He concluded: “It is crucial that investment in the private rental sector becomes a priority. What use is Labour’s ‘right to buy’ policy if renters have no interest in doing so? Instead the government must focus on encouraging purpose-built rental properties and cease its penalisation of landlords.”

Tenant demand is either growing or booming, according to landlords responding to the latest survey by specialist lender Paragon.

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