Tenant Demand for Rental Homes Reaches a New High

Around 700,000 households missed paying a bill, mortgage or rent last month - with renters responsible for the lion's share.

One in 11 renters - or just over five per cent of all tenants - quizzed about their finances by consumer watchdog Which? admitted they were struggling to pay their rent and other bills.

And as mortgage interest rates continue to soar, 3 per cent of homeowners and property investors confessed they had skipped at least one recent mortgage repayment.

The research suggested that more than 2 million households missed or defaulted on at least one mortgage, rent, loan, credit card or bill in April.

The 7.3 per cent missed payment rate is on par with April last year but more than April 2021 (6.5%) and April 2020 (5.2%).

Six out of 10 households found the extra cash to meet their bills by cutting back on essentials, dipping into savings, selling possessions or borrowing.

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: "It's very worrying that so many households are missing housing payments. We'd encourage anyone struggling to seek free debt advice and contact their mortgage provider or landlord for help."

Meanwhile, Bank of England rate-setters are expected to raise the cost of borrowing for the 12th time in a row when they meet this week (Thursday, May 11 2023).

100% mortgages for reliable renters

Skipton Building Society is ready to offer first-time buyers who cannot afford to save for a deposit a 100 per cent mortgage - the first available since the 2008 financial crisis.

The building society wants to ease the financial stress of buying a home for those who cannot afford to save or rely on help from their families.

Applicants must show a two-year unbroken rent repayment record and have the support of a family guarantor.

Recent data from lender Halifax revealed the average first-time home buyer deposit last year was £62,470, which was an 8 per cent increase on the 2021 figure.

The mortgage will cost no more than a tenant pays in rent; for example, someone paying £850 a month in rent will have their loan amount capped at an amount which costs £850 a month. Maximum borrowing is £600,000 for a new-build house.

The loan is fixed at an interest rate of 5.49 per cent for five years.

Chief executive of home financing, Charlotte Harrison, said: The mortgage has been carefully created with the challenges generation rent is facing in mind, together with the potential risks and challenges they may encounter in the future too."

Tenant demand hits the highest-ever level

According to lender Paragon Bank, two out of three landlords reported increased tenant demand for privately rented homes in the first three months of the year.

Researchers asked 7,000 landlords to gauge tenant demand for their properties. Increases were reported by 67 per cent, while 15 per cent noted no change and just four per cent posted declining interest.

Rent increases averaging 8.2 per cent are planned by 52 per cent of landlords to cover the increased costs of managing rental property.

Richard Rowntree, managing director for mortgages for Paragon Bank, said: "We've seen another high in the proportion of landlords who have told us that they've experienced an increase in tenant demand reinforces what I've said previously; put simply, we need more private rented sector homes, not less.

"An important element of this is a policy that strikes the right balance between driving up standards and providing tenants with protection while not acting as a barrier to investment.

"Failure to address this will further drive rental inflation and increase competition for rented homes at a time when affordable housing is as important as ever."

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Investing in a Property

Investing in a private rented property can be achieved in a variety of ways. Sometimes landlords inherit a property that they then turn over to renting. Sometimes owners of properties become unintentional landlords because they are unable or unwilling to sell a property at the value the market currently dictates.