Has home ownership had its day?

As landlords across the UK report tenant demand is stronger than ever, speculators are beginning to question whether 2011 will mark a sea change in how the British Public at large view home ownership.

The latest letting agent to report burgeoning business, Paragon Rented Sector say that only 4% of landlords reported a drop in tenant interest and the survey showed that landlords are only averaging void periods of 2.9 weeks per year. The figures are eye opening and one can imagine landlord insurance providers being inundated for quotes from eager investors rushing to get on the gravy train.

Banks to blame?

Experts agree that the restrictive mortgage terms offered by lenders since the bank crisis of 2008 is more than a little responsible for the glut of tenants on the lookout for accommodation. Also of course the thousands of job cuts in the public sector have shaken the confidence of house hunters dramatically.

Are we ready for change?

The question now being asked by many in the industry is will today’s seemingly unusually high demand for rented accommodation be the norm from now on? The answer may well be yes. The 20th century saw a great majority of working class people suddenly become homeowners. The selling off of council housing cheaply was the greatest contributor to this, but it could not have happened without the relaxed lending terms unleashed across the financial sector, access to borrowing was the key.

The depressing figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders over the last 2 years shows that the opposite is now happening. Thousands of homes for sale are attracting bids from prospective buyers only for the sale to be scrapped once the vendors go to arrange a mortgage and find they can’t borrow the cash. If interest rates are pushed up by the Bank of England in the coming months many housing experts believe the sales sector will crumble and letting agents will become king. Rented property insurance will be on offer from all major insurance companies.

Figures already show that the average age of new homebuyers is in the 30’s it will not take much more before young couples abandon the idea of scrimping and scraping to raise the money to buy their own home and just settle for long term renting instead