A new survey has found that tenants would be in favour of appointing a Government Minister, who would be responsible solely for tenancy issues.
The latest First Time Buyer Opinion Barometer from Your Move and Reed Rains asked tenants whether they thought that there should be a Minister with specific responsibility for tenants. A majority of 60.2% were in favour of such a move, with just 14.9 stating that they thought it was a poor idea.
Additional results showed that more people were resigned to renting for a longer period of time. Tenants were asked when they felt they would be able to get onto the property ladder, with just 11.2% replying that they felt this would be within the next 12 months. 13.1% of people asked went as far to say that they felt they would never be able to own their own home, up from 11% in April last year. 
Raising money for a deposit was found to be the main detractor from tenants getting their own home, with 70.8% replaying that this was the main reason for them continuing to rent 
Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reed Rains, commented that, ‘tenants feel that their particular circumstance deserves special representation at the heart of government.’ He feels that the, ‘younger generation have been disproportionately disadvantaged by the recession, with many stuck in lower paid roles, unable to progress their careers at the same pace as the previous generation.’
Continuing, Gill said, ‘at the same time, savings rates have been stuck in the doldrums, meaning any money they have been able to put aside hasn’t been working hard for them. Saving for a deposit has become much more arduous. Rising prices have also pushed up the amount many need to save in the first place, adding insult to injury. This means many tenants trapped in rented homes during the recovery are still playing catch-up.’
‘What will be interesting to monitor is whether such an initiative would cause a drastic change in the way we view renting in the UK. If the flexibility of renting, which most people see as a bonus, can be combined with the stability and reassurance that a Minister for Tenants could provide, it could create a golden formula that makes renting a better long-term, as well as short-term, option for many individuals and families.’
Owning their own home remains the goal for the majority of tenants. However, economic strife is making this just a pipe-dream for many in the present climate. Unsurprisingly, when asked if they would want their own home if financial restrictions were not a factor, 93.4% of tenants responded positively.
When asked when they saw themselves moving into their own home, the responses from tenants were more widespread. Just 11.2% were confident of owning their own home before the end of the year, with 48% saying the expected the process to take at least five years. 27.5% said that they were unsure over any timeframes.
Tenants want their own Government minister
The survey also found that more homeowners are looking further afield to ensure a first footing on the property ladder. 39.5% said that they would move over 10 miles from their workplace in order to become home-owners.
Gill commented that, ‘Vast numbers of tenants possess the will to own their first home, but not yet the means.’
‘For many, homeownership is more of an aspiration than a concrete objective. Yet it may not be as difficult a dream to realise as many believe. Yes, rising house prices – and this month is no different in that sense – mean that the requisite mortgage becomes bigger, pushing up the amount of deposit a first-time buyer needs to put down. Yet there are a number of government schemes in place to ameliorate that problem, both Help-to-Buy schemes to start with. The uptake of these has been relatively low, suggesting that if tenants got more clued-up about the help available, that aspiration would be more likely to become an attainment.’ 
Encouragingly, statistics reveal that there were 25,600 first-time buyer completions during April 2015. This was 11.3% higher than in March and 33.3% up on the final quarter of last year. Furthermore, the average property price of first-time buyer properties was up 10.6% on twelve months ago.
Gill concluded by saying, ‘April has seen the market continuing to fire on all cylinders, with all indicators showing strong growth. Predictions about a slow-down, or even sudden halt, to completed transactions due to lack of housing appropriate for first-time buyers have proven premature for now. However, the inexorable rise of first-time buyer house prices does suggest that the demand for such properties is still outstripping supply and the Government’s reticence to fully overhaul the planning system will not alleviate that crush.”