Does getting on the property ladder exist merely as an idea in the UK now, especially for young people such as the Gen-Y-ers or the Millenials? CSI Prop explores the notion of Generation Rent and how this is an opportunity for the rental market in Britain.
What most call the property “ladder” is the idea that homeowners will own different homes according to their needs during their lifetime.
A young couple early on in their careers would ideally buy a “starter home” and move on to a larger (and more expensive) property when they plan to have children. This has been possible in the past, because their household income would have increased through salary growth and career progression.
However, with wage stagnation, rising house prices and the squeeze on the cost of living today, this may be quite impossible for them, and many others like them.
The average UK house price is, at just over £200,000, almost 10 times the average wage, compared to just under four times the average wage at £31,000 in 1985. Home ownership in the UK has fallen to 63.8% (from 70.8% in 2003).
According to research by PwC, almost 60% of 20- to 39- year- olds in England will rent their homes by 2025, while just 26% will have got on the housing ladder.
Renting: the new normal?
Renting has become the new normal for millions of people in the UK. Rising house prices and a lack of new homes for first-time buyers takes home ownership out of reach of millennials, particularly in the southeast of England, where house prices have far outstripped salaries. And with the burden of debt from student loans (the an average debt is £32,220 for graduates in England), it’s easy to see why many think twice about taking on a mortgage.
A survey indicated that over three-quarters of British adults aged 18 to 30 don’t believe they will ever be able to afford to buy a home even though they have full-time jobs.
Philip, 26, from Yorkshire, said this of his experience so far: “By the time you have saved up an extra £1000 towards a deposit, the house values have gone up by £2k, £5k, £10k. It’s impossible.”
“It’s embarrassing to still live at home with your parents, even though I know increasing numbers of people in their 20s are doing so. It’s annoying that my life in that respect hasn’t turned out how it planned. I left uni at 23 telling myself that my move home would be for a few weeks at most, and I’m still there 3 years later,” he says.
Some, like Jamie, a Business Manager for a Health GP Company in Northumberland, have a slightly different view.
“I have no issues with (renting). There is, to a degree, temporised value; you can often live in a nicer area, nicer street etc. for a cheaper monthly payment than a mortgage payment. Some see renting as ‘throwing money down the drain’ but I see it differently. Renting allows you to become, in some odd regard, a more static member of the travelling community.” he says.
Other countries across the Channel don’t look as highly towards house ownership like the British. In France, just over 50% of the population live in their own properties. And in Paris, the figure is less than one in three. In Germany, house ownership is even more scarce. Only 39% of Germans own the homes that they live in, and in Berlin this figure dwindles down to just a mere 13% of the population owning their own home!
Could this be the future of house owners in the UK?
The decline of the “property ladder”, or house ownership means a large potential market for the buy-to-let investor in the UK. Even as the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge on additional property and changes to tax relief have eaten into landlords’ profits, the market continues to grow amid the high demand and low supply.
We see regional markets as the best option for investors looking to make high returns with low capital in the UK. The Government’s ongoing push for the Northern Powerhouse, which includes Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, is a good indicator of the potential for future property price growth and solid returns.
Liverpool postcodes dominate the top 25 areas of the buy-to-let yield list, with L7 – which covers the city centre, Edge Hill, Fairfield and Kensington – taking the top position with a huge average yield of 12.63%. This is based on a median rental value of £1,224, and a median asking price of £116,259. There is high rental demand in Liverpool as the city is home to three universities as well as a growing number of young professionals.
Other top performing Liverpool postcodes are L6 in second place with a 10.57% average yield, L15 in third place with a 10.29% yield, L1 in 10th place with an 8.61% yield, and L3 in 11th place with an 8.47% yield.
Manchester also makes a couple of appearances in the top 25, with M6 – which encompasses increasingly popular Salford – in 14th position with an average yield of 8.25%. The rental market in Manchester has been growing in strength in recent years, and its four universities provide ample opportunities for landlords who are willing to invest in student accommodation. Sheffield makes the cut for the top 25 as well, with its S2 postcode at 16th place, giving an average yield of 8.07%.
The Northern Powerhouse, ie, the British government’s attempt to rebalance the UK economy by pushing development upwards into the regions to bring it on par with that of the capital and southeast, can only be a good thing.
Article by Ian Choong
CSI Prop proudly promotes international investment property with high yields at low risk. Our portfolio comprises residential property in cities across the United Kingdom (London, Luton, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, York, Glasgow, Scotland; Sheffield, etc) and Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane). Our projects are concentrated in high-growth areas with great educational, infrastructural and job growth potentials. We aspire to make a difference in the lives of our clients by helping them achieve their investment goals through strong market research backed by third party experts.
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