Thursday, 4 June 2015

Are Attitudes to Home Ownership changing in Epsom?

Speaking to an Ashtead Landlord the other day, we got talking about the state of the Epsom property market and whether we, as a Country, are turning more and more to the European style of property ownership, where it is the norm to rent as a opposed to automatically buying once you have a good job etc.

Even though a recent report by the Halifax stated homeownership remains a goal for 85% of twenty to forty five year olds, there is information emerging that attitudes in the UK towards renting your own home as opposed to owning it have softened, showing more and more, that renting is being seen as a life style choice. In fact it is recognised in learned circles that the cycle of renting is also repeated by the fact that people who grow up primarily in rented accommodation are themselves more likely to rent than buy.

The biggest barrier often mentioned to buying a house is the claim that they are not buying property at the moment because of a lack of sufficient wages and by the high level of deposits required, but like we said a few weeks ago, in Epsom, if a couple, one on the average Epsom salary of £37,498 pa and the other on the Minimum wage, assuming they had a reasonable credit history, they would be showered with lenders offering them a 95% mortgage (a reasonable credit history means they haven’t defaulted on loans, paid all their bills on time nor got any County Court Judgements. Just because you missed just one credit card payment won’t mean you have messed up your credit score and your ability to get a mortgage) and they would only need to find £11,500 as a deposit to buy a decent apartment in any area of Epsom....it comes down to the perceived capability of the youngsters in Epsom to buy nowadays.

Interestingly, when I looked at the Epsom figures, the average Epsom tenant has a middle aged profile (in the 35 to 49 year old age range) than the English and Welsh average, as can be seen from the graph below. What interested me as well was the relatively large number of people renting over the age of 50! I know we have a large number of mature tenants at our agency, but I always thought that was the exception to the rule. Obviously not! (And that is good news for landlords as they make excellent tenants)

So what does all this mean for Epsom landlords and future Epsom landlords? I honestly believe there is a difference between the hope and perceived capability of the younger generation to buy a home. Although homeownership is seen as advantageous by a majority, many tenants admitted in the Halifax report they are not taking the steps they need to purchase their own home.

As the local authority aren't building any properties in Epsom, people still need a roof over the head, and that is why, as I mentioned a few weeks ago in the Epsom Property Blog, the demand for rental properties will only continue to steadily rise in the coming decade. If you want to know where the Epsom Property market is heading and where you should (and shouldn’t buy), keep checking back here at the Epsom Property Blog or send me an email to ian@directresidential.co.uk.

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