Each year thousands of people move to London to be a part of the buzz, excitement and abundance of opportunities that the UK capital offers and yet their renting experience is not normally one of ease. In our own extensive research, we found that it takes Londoners an average of 60 hours to find a property to rent.Renting is often people’s first port of call in London – it offers flexibility and the reality is that a large number can’t afford to buy property. A report last week suggested the popularity of renting will only to continue to rise with 60 per cent of the capital expected to be renting by 2025. With 1.9m renters in London alone holding the keys to a considerable chunk of the city’s economic value, their importance grows yet further. The market has moved considerably more quickly than was expected and as such, renters’ needs unfortunately have been largely forgotten. Renting as we know it today is a relatively new industry and the idea of mass renting was only really a prospect born in the 1980s, with its popularity growing since. This shift to renting has been reflected in a cultural shift across London. Millennials and young people can enjoy the relative freedom of renting, and socio-economic changes also mean that home owning for many is not a feasible option, specifically due to a lack of houses being built. Demand for rental property remains strong, which does not encourage innovation on the property and agency side. Property portals don’t feel the need to try and reinvent the wheel as they have such a strong market position with only two main players – the people who suffer as a consequence are the renters. There has been something of a stagnation period in the market with a distinct lack of technology investment and slow tech adoption in the sector for last decade. Renters are hugely important to London and overlooking them, as the vast majority of the market is at the moment, is not only foolish but detrimental to the long-term growth of the capital. Talented, skilled people are among the renters who help to drive the economy; many do this for the flexibility it gives them as they need to be in striking distance of their work. These people often have a high disposable income or are massive culture drivers, helping to make the city increasing popular in terms of art, music and entertainment. Read more about the property sector:
- How property investors can crush new UK tax laws and not pay George Osborne’s stamp duty
- Property: Should you buy or lease your office?
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