The private rented sector (PRS) is generally believed to comprise mostly of young professionals and students, but there are other demographics that are often overlooked.
One of these is middle-aged renters, who have seen their numbers rise considerably in recent years. This group is now almost twice as likely to rent from a private landlord than they were 10 years ago, according to a recent report from BBC News.
Data from the Family Resources Survey revealed the proportion of 35 to 54-year olds who live as private tenants has nearly doubled in the 10 years to April 2017, with a particular rise in 45 to 50-year-olds renting (up from 8% to 14%), sometimes as a result of divorce, death or debt.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, with many choosing to rent and house-share out of choice. For an increasing number of fortysomethings, renting is an attractive option, with some eager not to be tied down to paying a mortgage and opting for the extra freedom and flexibility offered by residing in the PRS.
There’s not just been an increase in middle-aged renters, though: the research suggests that private renting appeals to many demographics, with the proportion of people renting their home from a private landlord increasing across all working age groups.
Some 20% of UK households were renting privately in 2017, compared to those who owned with a mortgage (28%), those who owned their own home outright (34%) and those residing in the social rented sector (17%).
While nearly half of 25 to 34-year olds are currently renting their home privately, the largest increase over the last 10 years was among 35 to 44-year olds – the proportion doubling from 13% a decade ago to 26% today.
As a landlord, you should try and take advantage of the rise in middle-age renters. There are benefits to renting to this demographic, which tend to be more financially stable, likely to rent long-term, in good jobs and more eager to turn a house into a home.
Additionally, a recent report by the Resolution Foundation revealed that up to a third of young people are likely to live in private rented accommodation all their lives, while the most recent Scottish Housing Survey found the number of 16 to 34-year-olds renting privately rose dramatically from 16% in 1999 to 40% in 2016.
However, the majority of ‘Generation Y’ are happy to rent long-term, seeing renting as a stable and long-lasting place to stay and not as temporary accommodation. This means, as well as a growing band of middle-aged renters, you’ll also have lots of millennials to target your home towards.
Other recent research suggests that home ownership is in decline, while the proportion of families and retirees renting privately has steadily increased, which further broadens the pool of potential tenants for Scottish landlords to target their homes towards.
Considering the above, it’s crucial – as a landlord in West Lothian – to be aware of tenant trends in order to target your property effectively. This could help you to find tenants quicker and more efficiently.
Here at Letting Solutions, West Lothian’s first dedicated lettings agency, we have the skills and knowledge to ensure you get the best possible results from your rental property. To find out more about what we can do for you, please get in touch with us on 01506 425693.
We also provide a free and instant online valuation to give you an idea of how much your property could be worth in the current market.