Pro-buying Britain – modern day attitudes towards renting

Following the release of Sigma Capital’s industry research, the company explore the report and the attitudes it has revealed.

Prescot Park Build to Rent scheme for renting - Sigma Capital | BTR News
Prescot Park Build to Rent scheme.

2020 marked four years since Sigma Capital launched its first Simple Life PRS homes in Liverpool, and it has since grown vastly to over 2,700 homes across the country, and the Sigma platform has a further c.2,300 underway.

Earlier this year, Sigma Capital Group also produced a pioneering piece of industry research, ‘The Rental Experience: Setting the Standard’, which set out to find out more about the modern UK renter. Sigma Capital explores the report and the attitudes that it has revealed.

By Victoria Hurcomb, Head of Marketing, Sigma Capital

We really wanted to examine the rental market and delve deep into who renters are, what their thoughts and attitudes are toward renting and ultimately what they want to see from a landlord.

Historically, society is very focused on incentivising buying a home. For example, there are government schemes like Help To Buy and TV shows that cast a shadow over renting, focusing on rogue landlords, but you seldom hear about the positive stories of renting.

Victoria Hurcomb, Head of Marketing, Sigma Capital | BTR News
Victoria Hurcomb, Head of Marketing, Sigma Capital.

Sigma Capital Group’s recent findings in its market research report showed that that almost half of renters in the UK (46%) are quite happy renting, while 24% are very happy, 22% are not very happy and 9% are not at all happy.

These findings may suggest that societal factors and pressures can be what drives the desire to buy a property. The report also found that many older renters thought that they were in the minority, when in fact, those aged 35-44 make up the largest group of renters at 25%, and the average age of a renter being 45.

It became quite apparent that many people, particularly 35+ who rent a house, would prefer to keep this detail secret from friends and neighbours, not because they are not happy renting, but because they are too concerned with what society thinks. In doing so, it unfortunately feeds some of the common myths around rental happiness, the perception of landlords and also the assumed age of today’s renter.

We actually found that the appetite for long term tenancies was high, with 54% having been renting for six years or more, with the average private renter having been renting for seven years.

The report also revealed the many perceived benefits of renting, such as the freedom, flexibility, a greater choice of living environment or simply allowing renters to live in a better area or larger property than would not be achievable if they were looking to buy.

We have worked very hard over the years to create homes and communities where families can see themselves for many years. We have started to have a real affinity with our residents, and they are increasingly engaged with everything we stand for. For example, during lockdown we’ve seen a surge in our tenants creating Instagram accounts showing how they are dressing their homes, illustrating that although they are renting, they very much see the properties as their own long-term homes.