The majority of British tenants cannot afford to buy their own home

The majority of British tenants cannot afford to buy their own home [Photo: PRImageFactory via iStock]

Over the last few years, reports have shown that there has been a marked fall in the number of homeowners in the UK, with the period between 2008 and 2016 having seen a drop of more than four per cent in homeowner numbers. 

However, while much of this has been down to the fact that an increasing number of young people now prefer to rent rather than buy a home for the convenience, there are still many people living in rental properties in the private sector who are doing so because they cannot afford to buy their own home. 

In a survey released by Knight Knox, it was revealed that as many as 52 per cent of the five million tenants in the UK cannot afford to buy their own home. On top of this, 25 per cent of private tenants do not even meet the criteria for mortgage borrowing, meaning they have little chance of ever getting onto the property ladder. 

Knight Knox believes that this trend, fuelled by people not saving for a deposit or not having enough income to get a mortgage will mean that the private rented sector (PRS) continues to rise in prominence, becoming more akin to what is seen elsewhere in the world. 

"The lack of people saving for a deposit, coupled with the apparent affordability problem, could mean we are seeing a shift towards a PRS centric property landscape, similar to that which has long been a way of life in Germany and wider continental Europe," said Andy Phillips, commercial director at Knight Knox.

However, while the lack of affordability in terms of homes might be seen as a problem, the study also discovered that an overwhelming number of people who rent are happy with their current situation. Of those surveyed by Knight Knox, 60.7 per cent said they are content with renting in the current climate.