Lettings News

What can the UK Rental Sector Learn from the USA and Europe?

Em Morley - March 26, 2019

Renting is on the rise in the UK, however, research suggests that we are still behind on the build to rent trend, compared to the USA and Europe. So, what can the UK rental sector learn from its neighbours?

Broadband and utilities provider Glide has looked into the recent trends in renting in the UK, Europe and the USA, including the countries’ differing attitudes towards housing, to see if our nation is keeping up.

Although the amount of young adults (aged 25-34) renting their homes has almost doubled in a decade, from 24% in 2004 to 46% in 2014, the UK as a whole is still way behind Europe’s leading renting country, Germany. Nearly a fifth (19%) of the UK now lives in private rental housing, which is much lower than the amount in Germany (54%).

This is not just a European trend, however, as the USA has been utilising the build to rent market for the past 20 years, which is expected to grow to $317 billion this year.

The USA, in particular, has become more open to renting, with households of all education levels now more likely to rent than ten years ago, rather than just those considered of a lower social status. It is also interesting that 32% of US citizens rent as a matter of choice, compared with just 9% of the UK rental population, which has no aspiration to buy their own homes.

When looking into the reasons why the UK rental sector is behind on the build to rent trend, it seems to be down to the nation’s attitudes towards housing compared to the USA and Europe.

There are many reasons why people are starting to rent more than ever before, and it isn’t only due to finances. For many millennials who are just starting out on their career paths and are looking to progress in their chosen fields, being able to relocate for better opportunities is essential, thus, renting is the most convenient option.

Renting also provides peace of mind for tenants that, if something in the home breaks or goes wrong, then it is up to either the landlord or property management firm to fix it. This makes it a lot easier for those professionals who perhaps don’t have enough spare time to fix things themselves.

It is clear to see why there are question marks surrounding whether the UK should be looking to its neighbours on embracing the build to rent lifestyle and keep the UK rental sector strong, by providing properties for all different areas of society.