Why renting could be an attractive option post-Covid-19

As a nation of homeowners, the thought of renting is something we rarely entertain. But, given the current situation, the inevitable underlying element of uncertainty, and our own desire to potentially not commit and plan too far ahead right now, is renting actually a much more viable option? Or, at the very least, something to consider with a slightly more open mind?

What the stats tell us

According to latest figures published from Statista Research Department this month (April 2020), the rate of home ownership in the UK for 2018/19 stood at 65.5% - much larger than many countries but, interestingly, lower than Romania and Croatia where the rate exceeded 90%.

The graph in these findings shows clearly that by far the largest percentage of homeowners sits within the 55-plus age bracket, accounting for more than half of total homeowners across the country.

Why do we want to be a homeowner?

There are a multitude of reasons that motivates someone to buy their own home, ranging from both practical and emotional thinking: 

 - a sense of security
 - a means of wealth preservation and potential growth
 - an asset to pass on to the children
 - a space you can completely make your own including structural changes
 - it provides a level of pride and status

Many of these motivations will have undoubtedly influenced our behaviour many moons ago when we were trying to save up for a deposit and assess how much borrowing we could swallow and if we could afford the monthly mortgage repayments.

For many of us, those payments may now be a distant memory and owning our home outright now, a very satisfying feeling. However, is it still right for our current situation? Could the equity in the property be working better for us right now? Is the house actually a tie, controlling our decision-making, and potentially our destiny, at a time when we don’t want it to?

The current situation with Covid-19 and a fluctuating economy is inevitably throwing up so many questions – not least, is home ownership right for now or for our future?

Assessing what renting could mean for you

Without making any rash decisions, now could be a good time to consider what renting could look like potentially in the years ahead for you.

This thinking is actually not out of step with current behaviour – stats show an increasing desire to rent amongst the older age group. A particularly famous renter is former newscaster Sir Martyn Lewis featured in this Telegraph article. While Sir Martyn’s London pad may not be representative of the market average, Hamptons International confirms that last year it saw a sharp rise in older renters – up 61% since 2012 and 8% in the 12 months 2018-19, with around a third of these being retirees (see more on its report in Landlord Today).

Renting in the retirement community sector – our own experience

Our own experience supports this change of behaviour too. Renting as a viable tenure option has undoubtedly become almost as popular as home ownership amongst people enquiring about a retirement community property.

Our rate of rental enquiries has risen significantly over the last 18 months and we have been able to accommodate this with rent levels that also incorporate service charges and all village facilities, to make this an attractive proposition.

Key reasons why renting might win over home ownership in your next house move might include:

- No stamp duty to pay
- Freeing up equity to spend now, to invest further for your retirement, or to help out family
- No long-term commitment to one home or location – the world really is your oyster!
- Flexibility to try out a different way of living, and change it, if you don’t like it

Here’s more information about our rental options which include long-term rental and also a rent to buy package which helps for anyone struggling to sell an existing property.

Laurie Brown chose to rent his apartment when he moved to our Wiltshire village, Avonpark. He had no intention of buying – read his reasoning and fascinating background here.

Why consider renting right now

Rather than remaining on the property ladder, people are choosing to use their house sale as a source of income to support their future plans. With the uncertainty of the pandemic right now, having the freedom and control of such a sizeable amount of our capital means that our destiny is 100% in our own hands.

If this time has taught us anything, it’s about grasping the moment, enjoying our days and maximising every moment we have – whether that’s as a homeowner or a renter, the choice is entirely down to you.

Get in touch

This article is designed to open your mind to a tenure option you might have never considered before. We hope you have found it useful and of value as you continue your own research into retirement living.

If we can help with any further information on this or any other element of our retirement village proposition, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, tel: 01372 383950, email:,.uk and why not join our Facebook community, Your Community Connect and keep updated on all of our plans and activities during the current time.