I recently went to a property auction and bumped into one of my landlords! We got talking about the state of the Walsall property market and whether we, as a country, are turning more and more to the European style of property ownership, where it is the norm to rent as opposed to automatically buying once you have a good job etc. So I got to work when I returned to my desk….
Even though a recent report by the Halifax stated home-ownership remains a goal for 85% of twenty to forty five year-olds, there is information emerging that attitudes in the UK towards renting your own home as opposed to owning it have softened, showing more and more, that renting is being seen as a life style choice. In fact it is recognised in learned circles that the cycle of renting is also repeated by the fact that people who grow up primarily in rented accommodation are themselves more likely to rent than buy.
Many people think that the UK should lose its fixation with home-ownership and that people would be happier as a result. If this pattern were to continue, then this would suggest that the people entering the housing market are less likely to want to own a home, and are more likely to remain ‘Renters’, irrespective of changing market conditions, leading to a longer-term shift in the home-ownership make-up of the country.
The biggest barrier often mentioned to buying a house is the claim that they are not buying property at the moment because of a lack of sufficient wages and by the high level of deposits but like we said a few weeks ago, in Walsall, a single person on the average Walsall salary of £23,241pa, assuming they had a reasonable credit history they would be showered with lenders offering them a 95% mortgage (a reasonable credit history means they haven’t defaulted on loans, paid all their bills on time nor got any County Court Judgements. Just because you missed just one credit card payment won’t mean you have messed up your credit score and your ability to get a mortgage) and they would only need to find £4,500 as a deposit to buy a decent terraced house in Chuckery/ Palfrey. ..it comes down to the perceived capability of the youngsters in Walsall to buy nowadays.
Interestingly, when I looked at the Walsall figures, the average Walsall tenant has a younger profile than the England and Welsh average. What interested me as well was the relatively large number of people renting over the age of 50! I know we have a large number of mature tenants at our agency, but I always thought that was the exception to the rule. Obviously not which is good news for landlords as they make excellent tenants!
So what does all this mean for landlords and future Walsall landlords? I honestly believe there is a difference between the hope and perceived capability of the younger generation to buy a home. Although home-ownership is seen as advantageous by a majority, many tenants admitted in the Halifax report are not taking the steps they need to purchase their own home.
As the local authority aren’t building much by way of properties in Walsall, people still need a roof over their head, and that is why, as I mentioned a few weeks ago in the Walsall Property Blog, the demand for rental properties will only continue to steadily rise in the coming decade.
If want to know where the Walsall Property market is heading and where you should (and shouldn’t buy), maybe the one place you should visit is the Walsall Property Blog or send me an email!
Phone: 0345 257 9850/ 01922 637672