Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
Middle-aged renters are on the increase and landlords who ignore them are missing out. This is the warning from new research from Intus Lettings. In the past, renting was what young people did before they bought their first home. A 2018 study by the Department for Work and Pensions revealed the number of people aged 35-54 who rent has nearly doubled in the last 10 years and these findings are backed up by the Intus survey.
Among more than 2,000 tenants polled, people in this age group said their main reasons for continuing to rent were not being able to afford a deposit or not meeting mortgage criteria. Intus says that increasing house prices have left many middle-age workers unable to afford a first home, or as accidental renters after a relationship break-up. With the cost of rent rising faster than wages, it's no surprise that more people are finding themselves unable to save up for a deposit to buy a home well into their 40s, 50s and beyond. Sadly, the survey results also show that only around one-in-five middle-aged tenants feel renting really suits their lifestyle.
So if the needs of older renters are to be met in future, developers must heed the warning and re-set their default design for BTR schemes to take a different demographic into account. Demand for family homes and larger flats and apartments will no doubt increase over time, with the studio and 1-2 bed apartments so loved by developers particularly in city centres becoming less desirable as tenants find partners and have families. Developers will be missing a trick if they don't adapt their developments to take account of changing needs.
And further down the line, co-living which is only now breaking into the UK market and is so far aimed at young people - could also become an important piece of the rental puzzle. We are all living longer but many of us will live alone in our old age. Loneliness is a major problem for many elderly people and co-living could be the solution, with minimal personal space that is easy-to-maintain and the emphasis on well-managed communal areas for cooking, eating and socialising. According to the Centre for Ageing Better (CfAB), the number of over-60s renting privately rose from 254,000 in 2007 to 414,000 in 2017. And it predicts about a third of people over 60 could be living in private rented accommodation by 2040. So in future you could be just as likely to visit your granny in her co-living block as your student son or daughter.
Mary-Anne Bowring FIRPM FRICS FARLA FCABE Founder/Head of Asset Management
Strategic partnerships, holistic delivery/ opportunities, growth, value engineering, thought leadership
Ian Barber MD BTR Mobilisation & Leasing
Runs HQ & site lease-up teams. Drives rent pricing, mobilisation, marketing, happy residents!
Jon Curtis MRICS Head of Building Engineering
Chartered Building Surveyor. Lectures on EWS1 & building safety. Runs CapEx programmes.
Kate Robinson MIRPM MD Blocks/FM Management (London Region)
Master plan setup, ops and staffing and resident engagement. ISO45001 champion.
Lee Harle Partner Ringley Law
Plot conveyancing. Debt litigation. Group Company Secretary.
Anthony Kingdon MIRPM AssocRICS MD Blocks/FM Management (North Region)
Stakeholder engagement. Mixed tenure specialist. Budget management. Plant audit, PPM compliance.
Chris Georgalis MRICS Head of Commercial Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental valuations: retail, leisure. IRR modelling and valuations for secured lending. Compulsory purchase & rent reviews
Nichola Pughe MRICS Head of Residential Valuation
Chartered Valuer. Rental development & mixed use valuations, IRR modelling. Leasehold enfranchisement specialist
Libby Chen MSc Compliance Manager
Operational Plant & Equipment strategy PPM Compliance lead, Asset tagging Client major projects
Dipesh Parekh Director PlanetRent
Customer centric, vertically integrated PropTech/fin-tech solutions.
Leana Aristodemou MIRPM MARLA AssocRICS Strategic lead: ESG & Asset Business Plan delivery
Financial modelling, valuation analyst to support underwriting & fund reporting.
Natalie Birmingham Helpdesk Support Manager
Trainer & Helpdesk Manager: people, systems,contractors. ISO45001 supply chain accreditation.
Steve Norman Planning Director
Land due diligence (opportunities & constraints) Has contributed to a number of award winning schemes.