Home ownership remains an aspiration for renters, but the majority don’t think they will ever own their own home

Renters are increasingly disillusioned by a system that gives them no chance to get on the property ladder – but not with the idea of home ownership itself, latest stats show

couple buying or selling their home
(Image credit: Getty)

What is the current state of the home ownership dream? With owning a home permanently out of reach for so many, have we collectively begun to give up on this particular social aspiration? 

Not at all, as the figures released as part of this year’s homeowner survey show. The HomeOwners Alliance has conducted its annual in-depth research into the concerns of both renters and homeowners, and the verdict on home ownership is loud and clear, with eight out of ten renters wishing to one day own their own home. Importantly, though, despite this overwhelming desire to become homeowners, the majority of those renters* who want to own (59%) don’t think they ever will. 

What are the alternatives? Shared Ownership has a limited appeal for today’s renters, with 32% saying the scheme is a bad idea, citing an overly complex system with multiple bills and high additional fees as the reasons. Help To Buy is seen as a better alternative, mainly because it allows some people to get on the property ladder without a large deposit. The scheme does draw criticism from 15% of renters, who are worried about the scheme being ‘abused by developers’ and people ‘who need help less’ benefiting from it. 

For many renters, it’s build to rent that emerges as the most likely solution to their current problems with private renting, which range from difficulties in getting the landlord to do repairs to poor quality accommodation overall and unexpected rent hikes. 

Build to rent is seen as a way to avoid high upfront fees by 48% of renters, while being able to rent from a fair and responsible company appeals to 40%; high quality, safe, and energy efficient rental properties offered by build to rent appeal to 38%.  

We covered the build to rent market earlier this summer, uncovering its many potential benefits to renters – including, paradoxically, better value for money than renting an old property. Here’s hoping that this segment of the property market will expand, providing more lifelong renters with high-quality, fairly priced accommodation. 

*A sample of 691 UK renters