Warning: don't ignore middle-aged renters!
Middle-aged renters are on the increase and landlords who ignore them are missing out. This is the warning from new research from Intus Lettings. In the past, renting was what young people did before they bought their first home. A 2018 study by the Department for Work and Pensions revealed the number of people aged 35-54 who rent has nearly doubled in the last 10 years and these findings are backed up by the Intus survey.
Among more than 2,000 tenants polled, people in this age group said their main reasons for continuing to rent were not being able to afford a deposit or not meeting mortgage criteria. Intus says that increasing house prices have left many middle-age workers unable to afford a first home, or as ?accidental renters? after a relationship break-up.
With the cost of rent rising faster than wages, it?s no surprise that more people are finding themselves unable to save up for a deposit to buy a home well into their 40s, 50s and beyond. Sadly, the survey results also show that only around one-in-five middle-aged tenants feel renting really suits their lifestyle.
So if the needs of older renters are to be met in future, developers must heed the warning and re-set their default design for BTR schemes to take a different demographic into account.
Demand for family homes and larger flats and apartments will no doubt increase over time, with the studio and 1-2 bed apartments so loved by developers ? particularly in city centres ? becoming less desirable as tenants find partners and have families. Developers will be missing a trick if they don?t adapt their developments to take account of changing needs.
And further down the line, co-living ? which is only now breaking into the UK market and is so far aimed at young people - could also become an important piece of the rental puzzle. We are all living longer but many of us will live alone in our old age. Loneliness is a major problem for many elderly people and co-living could be the solution, with minimal personal space that is easy-to-maintain and the emphasis on well-managed communal areas for cooking, eating and socialising.
According to the Centre for Ageing Better (CfAB), the number of over-60s renting privately rose from 254,000 in 2007 to 414,000 in 2017. And it predicts about a third of people over 60 could be living in private rented accommodation by 2040. So in future you could be just as likely to visit your granny in her co-living block as your student son or daughter.
Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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