Generation RentFebruary 9 2017
I am part of the “internet generation” which is the label we were given as children; now I am “generation rent.” Since the age of 20 I have been renting the whole time, apart from six months. Like most young adults I wanted to move out to gain more independence and have my own space. From the start I was always planning to rent, I cannot afford to rent a place of my own, so like many young adults I moved in with a flat mate into what was one of the more “affordable” flats in Edinburgh.
For two young guys the flat was alright but the standard of the furniture was very poor and the kitchen was so small that the freezer had to stay in a bedroom. At the time I thought the flat was great and I was living with my best mate. In reality the flat was in a terrible condition and, for what it was, was not worth the £620 a month. I now live in a flat in Leith, Edinburgh which is going through a lot of gentrification. It is more expensive than my previous flat by over £100.
The question that I am continually asked as a young person who rents is “why do you bother with renting, you won’t own the property by the end of your lease” and the truth is quite simple: I can’t afford to buy a place of my own. As a young person on a part time contract like so many I am unable to save a deposit as I have to pay my barely affordable rent. I understand the next question people have is “why don’t you move back to your parents and save.” Instead of asking these questions why don’t we as a nation find a solution to the problem.
The best solution is to build more affordable housing for everyone which doesn’t necessarily mean council housing. A great programmeI discovered was in Berlin: there is a rent cap which is set at a third of the individual’s income (Although they seem to have run into some problems – the idea is sound). In my opinion this would bea great solution that is available short term whilst more social housing is being built.
The average age of first time buyers has increased from 31 in 2004-2005 to 33 in 2014-2015. Younger people are more likely to rent privately which has increased from 24% in 2004-2005 to 46% in the same time frame. The other side of it is young people getting a mortgage has lowered from 54% to 34%. More and more young people are accepting that they will likely never own a home with 57& of young people renting privately said this is how they felt in 2015 which had dropped from 61%.
On a personal level I accepted that the likelihood of me owning my own house is very unlikely for a long time I am okay with this provided the price is fair and not unreasonable.