Generation rent: Part 3

One in five of those classed as ‘generation rent’ have no desire to own a home, a report released today has revealed.

The fourth annual Halifax Generation Rent report, produced by the National Centre for Social Research, uses data from 32,000 interviews built up over four years with 8,026 20-45 year olds and 1,005 parents interviewed in 2014. The opinions of 20-45-year-olds have changed between the first report in 2011 and the report released today.

It found one in five of 23-27 year olds have no desire to own a home and 48 per cent agree Britain will become a nation of renters within the next generation. A third, 36 per cent, think that the nation should lose its obsession with home ownership.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: ‘With attitudes softening towards the social implications of renting, and the number of people who say they will never own a property increasing, we may be heading towards the point where the aspiration to own a nice home will be replaced by the aspiration simply to live in one.

‘It seems that people are now beginning to accept a lifetime of renting and this would not only change the way the property ladder looks in the future, it could even bring into question whether or not it will exist at all for some people.’

The report suggests if trends continue people aged between 23-27 now may be 23 per cent less likely than those aged between 38-42 to make it onto the property ladder. This could affect the wealth gap between homeowners and non-homeowners.

Alun Humphrey, NatCen senior research director, said: ‘The homeownership profile of the UK is currently in a transient phase. If an increased supply of housing keeps prices stable and any economic recovery is felt, in real terms, by those for whom homeownership is currently out of reach, then we may see levels of homeownership start to ‘catch-up’ with those of previous generations.

‘However, after a long recession and housing crisis, an increasing proportion of younger people have only ever known a difficult economy and housing market. We are starting to see signs of differing attitudes towards homeownership among younger people; if these do not change as they get older then the homeownership profile of the UK may move towards renting irrespective of the economic climate.’