Young people ‘could decide to rent’

Students in debt may avoid buying a property due to repaying loans and rising unemployment, one expert has suggested.

Chairman of home search service company DTZ Residential Peter Braithwaite implied that this may indicate a cultural shift away from ownership and towards renting.

He said: “Ownership is so enshrined in the UK property market that it will be a major change if renting becomes far more acceptable. If it is ever going to happen this is probably the time.”

Current mortgage rates, while agreeable, are likely to rise in the near future with renting becoming a “practical solution” as a result, he added.

Mr Braithwaite also remarked that long-term rental, such as five or ten-year leases, may become more of an acceptable form of ownership as time goes on.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed earlier this month that the number of first-time buyers in April 2009 was down 28 per cent on the same month the previous year.

Despite this, 70 per cent of people in the 18 to 24 age bracket thought that owning a home was a good long-term investment, according to July figures released by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

By Francis Finch

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