Why renting is becoming increasingly desirable

Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops, provides his insight into why more tenants than ever before are taking up tenancies due to a desire to rent rather than being unable to buy.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of Jackson-Stops’ branches from Arundel to Wilmslow saw a rise in rental applications in 2018. Whilst many will assume this spike in tenant registrations is down to affordability, the desire to rent rather than the inability to buy was overwhelmingly reported as a key driver for these new clients. Wanting to dig a bit deeper into this new trend, we asked our branches to consider the following question: ‘Other than affordability, what is the top reason for tenants renting in your area?’. We analysed the responses to reveal three emerging lettings tribes:

Chain-free champions

Our analysis revealed that 54% of our lettings branches stated the prospect of being chain-free was the main reason why tenants were choosing to rent in their region. This trend was most acute in the South East of England, with 75% of our branches here citing this as the most popular reason for rental applications.

Reasons cited vary, but lettings managers in the South East reported that many of their ‘chain-free champions’ are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach during Brexit negotiations. With housing stock in relatively low supply, these tenants want the flexibility to move fast this year if required and feel that being chain free puts them in the strongest position possible.


School searchers

Just under a third (31%) of our agents cited being within a top school’s catchment area as the primary reason why tenants chose to rent in their locality. This trend was most prominent in London, with 40% of our agents here claiming this as a primary reas​​​​​​​on for ​​​​​​​rental applications in their area.​​​​​​​

Given The Department for Education’s recent Good Schools Guide 2018 revealing that that there are 10 times more applications for good state schools than the number of school places available in the Capital, this is not surprising. This is causing families to consider renting if no family homes are available within the catchment area of their desired school.


The ‘try-before-you-buy’ tribe

‘Try before you buy’ and renting a pied-a-terre were also reasons for tenants renting across Jackson-Stops’ London branches, with 60% and 20% of agents respectively citing these drivers as amongst the key reasons for rental applications at their branch.

With renting a pied-a-terre popular in London, our London Group recently launched ‘Jackson-Stops interiors’ - a partnership with Alexander James Interior Design, which offers turnkey packages and other interior design services. The service affords clients the ability to personalise their temporary home without the hassle of having to do it themselves – ideal for both the pied-a-terre and ‘try before you buy’ tribes.

We have 23 lettings arms across the consortium, with branch locations ranging from the North West and Wales to East Anglia and London through to the West Country. Please get in touch with your local branch with any lettings enquiries.