Renting ‘now cheaper’ than buying a home

Last month it cost less to rent than it did to service a mortgage for the first time sine the end of 2014, according to Hamptons.

The estate agent’s research shows that in May 2021, the average tenant in Great Britain spent £71 less a month than the average first-time buyer with a 90% LTV loan did – £1,054 on rent versus £1,125 on a mortgage payment.

This compares to a homeowner under the same circumstances paying £102 less than the average renter in March 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic began.

Hamptons says that even though rents rose 7.1% annually in May, house price growth and increases in upper-tier LTV rates have made owning a home more expensive.

And this is no more marked than in the nation’s capital, Hamptons adds. In London, a FTB with a 10% deposit would have been £123 better off than a renter in March 2020.

As of last month, this same buyer is spending £251 more than the average renter. “With rents still falling, the differential looks set to continue growing,” says Hamptons.

Within London, rent prices from May 2020 to May 2021 dipped 0.5%, driven by prices in inner London falling by 20.3%. Outer London has seen rental growth of 5.8% within the same time frame.

Hamptons head of research Aneisha Beveridge comments: “The pandemic has reversed a six-year trend which now makes it cheaper to rent than buy a home.

“It is likely the balance will swing back somewhat towards buying, particularly as mortgage rates come down.

“However, this is likely to be partly offset by rising house prices. And while interest rates are falling, they’re still considerably above where they were pre-pandemic on higher LTV loans.

“Despite this, we expect the gap between renting and buying to close over the remainder of this year, moving back towards longer-term levels in 2022.”



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