Almost half of the UK's tenants want to buy out their landlord

The desire for homeownership amongst UK tenants has been highlighted in the findings of new research from Wayhome who reveal that almost half would like to buy their rented home from their landlord if circumstances allowed.

Related topics:  Landlords
Property Reporter
19th January 2022
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In a nationally representative survey of over 4,000 people, 42% of tenants said they would like to buy their current rental home if it were feasible. The number rises slightly to 45% of private renters compared to 38% of social tenants.

According to the findings, interest peaks between the ages of 25 and 34, with more than half of tenants keen to buy the home they’re currently living in. This compares to just under one-in-three of those aged between 65 and 74 (32%), the age group least motivated to buy out their landlord.

Regionally, London sees the highest proportion of tenants keen to buy their current home at 53%. This is followed by those in Yorkshire and Humberside (46%) and those in the South East of England (44%). Those in the North East (30%) are least likely to want to buy their home.

There are several factors that drive the desire of tenants to buy out their landlord with the home’s location topping the list (51%). Half (50%) say it’s because they ‘love’ the home and 38% say it’s because they don’t want the hassle of moving.

Main reasons why tenants want to buy the home they currently rent:

Good location - 51%

Love the property - 50%

Want to avoid the hassle of moving - 38%

Spent money furnishing the property - 36%

Close to family/friends - 35%

The property suits my needs - 21%

Meanwhile, 26% of homeowners say they would have considered buying the last home they rented if it would have been possible at the time.

In reality, most UK tenants wanting to buy the property they rent in today’s market face tough challenges. Typically, when applying for a mortgage a first-time buyer will be approved for 3.55 times their gross household income. When the average UK income of £47,662 is considered, it can leave those buying on their own with a mortgage worth as little as £169,200.

Even if their landlord were happy to sell, the strict lending criteria enforced by the high street banks severely limits their chances of securing a mortgage sizeable enough to buy the property.

Nigel Purves, Wayhome CEO, comments: “It is clear from this research that renters in the UK want to have more of a stake in their home. But with prices going up, mortgage affordability becomes more constrained than ever, which makes getting on the ladder an increasingly distant dream.

“Renting a home could effectively be like taking a car for an extended test drive. Renters get under the skin of the property by living there and will soon know whether they’d like it as their long-term home. If it’s a home the tenant can afford to rent on an ongoing basis and the landlord is open to selling, surely there should be some way of helping to finance a deal with two willing parties?

“Unlike mortgage providers, who typically look at what an aspiring homeowner could afford to borrow - at Wayhome, we fundamentally believe that if someone can afford to rent a property, it should be financially possible for them to buy it.

“Tenants with landlords who might be willing to sell should get in touch as we may be able to help.”

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