There are constant headlines about ‘generation rent’ which contest whether or not this group of long-term renters is happy and catered for by the current private rented sector (PRS), or whether, on the flipside, they are a group of generally dissatisfied tenants looking to break out of the PRS but are unable to because of stagnant wages and increasing house prices. And whilst the debates on either side continue to persist, new research has now shed more light on generation rent and how they feel about the current rental market in the UK.
The data from GoCompare revealed that over half (59%) of tenants in the PRS want to get on the housing ladder but are unable to because of financial constraints. This backs up the unfortunate truth that the current economic landscape is not geared toward the next generation owning property, but rather leaves many in a cycle of renting in the long term, living month to month. However the figure is not as high as some would expect which indicates that a healthy proportion of renters are happy with their current situation.
As well as finding out whether renters wanted to be in the PRS, the survey also looked at what 18-24 year old tenants thought was important when looking for a rental property. The results showed that 40% believed that the number of bedrooms was important, whilst 30% said that they would look for an unfurnished property. In terms of location just under half (48%) said that close proximity to work or university was fairly important whilst a quarter said it was very important.
Interestingly though, when comparing results to rental listings on Rightmove, GoCompare found that many landlords and agents were not reporting on the important factors for 18-24 year old renters. When asked responders were keen to find unfurnished properties, however over half of listings on Rightmove failed to even say whether a property came furnished or not, and worryingly only 14% of listings surveyed came unfurnished. The listings performed slightly better in terms of location, though, with 58% of listings specifically using a property’s location close to a university or work in order to appeal to more would be tenants.
The data is interesting as it highlights a growing need to find out just what it is that generation rent wants from rental accommodation, and to use this information to better market properties. With no sign of change when it comes to home ownership many living in the PRS are facing a lifetime of renting and as a result the market should evolve accordingly to provide for changing needs.
If you’re a landlord looking for advice on how to appeal to your target tenant, contact us today to find out more about how we can help you.