Owning a home remains the dream of most Brits, but with prices constantly increasing and the supply shortage ever presented, is it maybe time to change that dream?
For many Londoners, the idea of owning a home sounds amazing, and very far out of reach. The average house price in the capital sits somewhere around £800,000, the average annual salary is far from it, at around £40,000.
And although this is a rather drastic example, things aren’t looking an awful brighter throughout the rest of the country. Britain’s housing affordability is low, no matter of the region you’re looking at.
Apart from those who might be inheriting a respectable sum or who know they can bank with mum and dad, project homeownership may slowly be dying in the capital.
So the question becomes, is it time to adjust our expectations, if we can’t change the market?
To be fair, we wouldn’t be the first ones to do so. Many European countries see renting as the norm. Across Europe’s core countries people live in rented accommodation, and they do so very happily.
Seemingly, developers are also slowly coming around to the idea. In fact, they’ve given birth to a whole new sector in the market: build-to-rent. And it’s booming.
The number of build-to-rent homes being under construction has multiplied by four in recent years, with more to come.
And even the Government and some of the industry’s biggest players are showing their healthy support for the sector. The Government recently published its Housing White Paper, clearly giving emphasis to making the private rented sector more stable and attractive.
The industry has now followed suit. Only this week, 20 of the country’s biggest developers and investors have signed a pledge to offer three year tenancies to renters.
This, in a country where tenant rights are still far behind landlords rights, is a major step to create a sector where a family would happily choose to live in rental accommodation.
Of course, this shift in thinking and attitude won’t happen overnight. It’s a lengthy process that may take some time for people to be comfortable with the idea to never actually “own” where they’re living.
One thing, however, is for sure: build-to-rent developers are trying hard to speed up the process by creating stunning developments that offer everything a tenant could ask for.