Sigma Capital Group plc has launched its private rental sector (PRS) market research report, which reveals the nation’s behaviours and attitudes around renting. The research report – The Rental Experience: Setting the Standard – is based on in-depth qualitative and quantitative data collection concluding with a survey of more than 2,000 renters. The research reveals a variety of information – from who the modern-day renter is, what barriers they feel they face as renters, to their reasons for and experience of renting.
“As leaders in the market, we wanted to take a proactive approach to find out more about renters in the UK and what the rental landscape looks like.
“As much as we can make assumptions about what we think people might want, we felt it was critical to collect hard data from real renters, which would allow us to better understand their wants and needs which in turn would help inform our strategy and delivery.
“At our current scale and with increasing pace of delivery it made sense to embark on this project, which has revealed some really interesting findings which will shape our thought processes into the future.”Rob Sumner, Residential Investment Director, Sigma Capital Group
Some results from the research report
The survey found that some see renting as ‘dead’ money. But many see the benefits – such as the freedom, flexibility, greater choice of living environments or that it allows them to live in a better area or larger property compared to if they were to buy a home.
The report also reveals that renters are older and more affluent than perhaps would be expected, with those aged 35-44 making up the largest group of renters within this group. It also revealed that while members were part of the largest cohort in the sector, they perceived themselves to be a minority. They expected that most renters in the sector would be much younger – as most of the marketing push is towards the younger generation.
“Something that struck us quite early on in the research was the vast difference in experiences people have while renting. It became very noticeable that there is a lack of standardisation within the rental market place, so renters can feel on the back foot – and not in control.
“From tenancy to tenancy, they never know what to expect with regards to what they can and can’t do, what is tenant or landlord responsibility, how fees and rental increases work and the degree of customer service they can expect. Build to Rent providers can really now start to set the standard which will inevitably start to reduce the grey areas of renting, making it even more attractive.”Lauren Elliott, Trinity McQueen who led the research on behalf of Sigma Capital
The research also showed that the average time a private renter has been in the sector is seven years, showing that far from it being a transient market, for many renting is a long-term solution.
“Our survey found that in fact, many people are happy or very happy with the property that they rent, with a high proportion of people stating that they are willing to sign into long-term rental deals.
“The very fact that on the whole renters are happy, yet this negative representation of renting is highlighted, means that unfortunately there are some deeply held and, in our opinion, unjustly unfavourable stigmas attached to renting, born out of history rather than the present day. As an industry, if we can start to change that perception, it could unlock a huge amount of potential.
“The market is maturing and it’s possible that people will start to see renting as a more aspirational choice. With renters increasingly seeking a relationship with a brand, landlords will soon be competing for tenants, which is why we need to ensure that the service we provide within our Simple Life brand is first class.”Rob Sumner, Residential Investment Director, Sigma Capital Group