The rise of generation rent The rise of generation rent

Britain moving to a german housing model

  • 12 million Brits have no plans to purchase a property
  • A fifth of those not looking to buy simply don’t want the financial commitment that comes with owning a home
  • A third (34 per cent) of Brits are currently renting a property
  • Londoners spend the shortest time renting before owning a property

London, 27 June 2018: Of the estimated 17 million renters in the UK, over two thirds (70 per cent or 12 million adults) have no plans to purchase a property, reveals new research1 by landlord insurer Direct Line for Business. The research shows Britain is moving towards a German housing model with a greater percentage of the population renting.

When it comes to levels of home ownership, official statistics place the UK ahead of only Denmark, Austria and Germany in terms of the proportion of owner-occupied dwellings2.

Direct Line for Business’ analysis suggests that the adage “an Englishman’s home is his castle” may be set to change, with future generations more likely to live in properties owned by other people. The average price paid by first-time buyers in 2017 was £207,693, more than 50 per cent higher than five years previously3 when the same property cost on average £138,663. This is an increase of nearly £70,000, or £1,150 every month.

While affordability is cited as a reason for people not thinking they will buy a home, a fifth of those not looking to buy (22 per cent) simply don’t want the financial commitment that comes with owning a home.

For others, the attractiveness of not owning is flexibility, with one in eleven (nine per cent) wanting to be free to travel and one in 12 (eight per cent) not wanting to be tied to a local area. Over a fifth (22 per cent) of those not planning to buy think the cost of maintaining a property is too high and would rather have a landlord deal with any issues that may arise.

Despite London’s fast-growing property market, which has seen prices rise by more than £12,000 in the past year4, the capital is the region people expect to spend the shortest time renting before buying a home. The average Londoner expects to spend under 12 years renting compared to the UK average of 15 years and two months.

On a regional basis, Scotland currently has the highest proportion of people renting (43 per cent of the region’s adult population), while the West Midlands has the lowest (21 per cent). Across the whole of the UK, London has the highest number of renters, with its 2.7 million tenants accounting for a sixth (16 per cent) of all British renters.

Christina Dimitrov, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, said: "The UK housing market continues to change and we are seeing a major attitudinal shift when it comes to renting. While price is a factor, many people are increasingly comfortable with the flexibility afforded by renting a property rather than jumping into home ownership."

"In line with the greater demand for rental properties, the Government has introduced tougher controls and regulation. Recent legislative changes mean landlords have stringent guidelines to adhere to in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of their tenants. It is important that landlords ensure all of their properties are adequately insured to minimise distress to them and their tenants should something go wrong."

For more information about Direct Line for Business’ Landlord Insurance, please visit:

Notes to Editors

1 Opinium research conducted among 2,003 UK adults between 6th and 9th October 2017.

2 Eurostat analysis of tenure status for 34 countries across Europe. Data extracted in February 2017.

3 The Halifax First Time Buyers’ Review, July 2017.

4 HM Land Registry’s UK House Price Index for August 2017, published 17th October 2017.

For further information please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Antonia Green
Tel: 020 7282 2967

Direct Line Group
Jade Trimbee
PR Manager
Tel: 01372 839 452
Mobile: 07825 315 931

Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting

Landlord Insurance Press Release

Last Updated: 27 June 2018