Former owner occupiers who want to be ‘chain-free’ if they buy again are pouring into the private rental sector according to agency Jackson-Stops.
The agency says 62 per cent of its lettings’ branches have seen a rise in rental applications, with over half of agents noting that the desire to be ‘chain-free’ is the top reason for rental applications at their branch.
Jackson-Stops branches from across the country, with locations ranging from Wilmslow to Arundel, responded to a poll which asked agents to consider the following question: ‘Other than affordability, what is the top reason for tenants renting in your area?’
The analysis reveals that 54 per cent of branches stated the prospect of being chain-free was the main reason why tenants were choosing to rent in their region. This trend was most acute in the South East of England, with 75 per cent of branches in this region citing this as the most popular reason why tenants were renting.
“Over the last 12 months we have seen an increase in tenants who have sold their primary residence and are unsure what their plans hold for the future. With the South East and London markets arguably weathering most of the turbulence from Brexit, these ‘chain-free champions’ are taking a wait and see approach before making their next home purchase” explains Genevieve Masterson, lettings manager at Jackson-Stops’ Canterbury branch.
‘Try before you buy’ and renting a pied-a-terre were also prominent reasons for tenants renting across Jackson-Stops’ London branches, with 60 per cent and 20 per cent of agents respectively citing these drivers as amongst the key reasons for rental applications in their branch.
Nick Leeming, chairman at Jackson-Stops, says: “Whilst Brexit uncertainty of course has a part to play in the UK’s growing appetite for lettings, our research has uncovered the many other reasons why tenants are choosing to rent across the country, with the majority of these grounded in the lifestyle and benefits a rental property offers a tenant.”
Earlier this year, research from Santander Mortgages found that owning a home is now cheaper than renting in every part of the UK, with tenants able to make annual savings of £2,268 by buying.
Despite this, says Jackson-Stops, the desire to rent has grown substantially throughout 2018, with more buyers than ever before taking up tenancies due to a desire to rent rather than being unable to buy.