According to new research from Your Move, investment within the PRS (private rented sector) could potentially double to £75 billion in 2025, a record-breaking figure. Due to the desire for lifestyle flexibility and affordability pressures, investment in the UK PRS market is predicted to grow, alongside a decline in home ownership. There are currently approximately 4.5 million privately rented homes within the UK, but this figure could rise to 6 million during the next six years. Your Move has emphasised that in order for this to happen, the PRS must be consistent and vibrant enough to cater to a wide range of requirements.

The forecasts also seem to be confirmed by research provided by Knight Frank, which has predicted that the rental housing market in the UK will grow to 22 per cent in 2023, compared to the current rate of 20.6 per cent. This growth will likely be experienced in buy-to-let and build-to-rent properties, despite the latter making a negligible impact on the sector so far, with under 10 per cent of rental homes provided by build-to-rent. The scope for growth will prove positive news for landlords, as regulation and taxes continue to pose a danger in restraining the appeal of the PRS for investors.

One surprising find from the study was that around half of tenants within the private rented sector are aged 46 or over, compared to 39 per cent in the survey aged under 35. The report goes on to explain that although the rise of ‘Silver Renters’ may seem surprising, renting has become the most convenient available option for people following an adjustment in personal circumstances, such as a marriage breakdown or relocation for work. This is in contrast to the thousands of tenants in ‘Generation Rent’, who have chosen to rent from the private rented sector due to a lack of funds to purchase their own homes.

The shifts in how renting is perceived and its rapidly changing demographic have created opportunities for buy-to-let landlords who are able to provide the kind of accommodation which is required for flexible living, for both families and individuals. Your Move also stated that there are differences between the requirements of the younger and older generations, with big factors such as lifestyle choices dictating the property they rent, as well as their budget. Younger tenants appear to favour properties with additional services such as parking, satellite TV and high speed internet, and are willing to increase their budget to allow this.

In contrast, older tenants seem to prefer closer proximity to amenities, and connections to a wider local community, and would willingly pay more for this as a priority. Additionally, property condition was seen as a priority for 52 per cent, and a good landlord was the priority for 46 per cent of all age groups. With home ownership perceived as the long-term goal for around 80 per cent of the younger tenants questioned in the survey and renting seen as a stepping stone to their aspirations, older tenants were less driven to own a home. In comparison, 46 per cent aged over 55 were content to rent for the longer term, with a mere 19 per cent aspiring to own their own home.

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