Tenants would overwhelmingly support appointing a government minister whose sole responsibility was tenancy issues, according to research from Your Move and Reeds Rains.
When the 800-strong survey sample were asked if they thought there should be a minister with this specific responsibility, 60.2 per cent said ‘yes’ compared to 14.9 per cent who thought it was a bad idea.
Tenants were also asked at what point in time they expect to become homeowners, with only 11.2 per cent now feeling they will be able to get onto the ladder within the next year, down from 13.4 per cent in April 2014.
Equally, 13.1 per cent replied that they will probably never be able to own their own home, up from 11 per cent 12 months ago.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, commented that the younger generation have been disproportionately disadvantaged by the recession, with many stuck in lower paid roles, unable to progress their careers at the same pace as their predecessors.
“At the same time, savings rates have been stuck in the doldrums, meaning any money they have been able to put aside hasn’t been working hard for them. Rising prices have also pushed up the amount many need to save in the first place, adding insult to injury.”
He argued that if the flexibility of renting could be combined with the stability and reassurance that a minister for tenants could provide, it could create a “golden formula” that makes renting a better long-term, as well as short-term, option for many individuals and families.
Elsewhere, the estate agent group’s monthly statistics showed that there were 25,600 first-time buyer completions in April, 11.3 per cent higher than 23,000 in March and 33.3 per cent higher than three months ago.
The average purchase price of first-time buyer properties was £158,009 in April, 10.6 per cent higher than a year ago. First-time buyer deposits averaged £25,534 in April, 8.7 per cent more than a year before, despite additional support for lower-deposit borrowers in the form of Help to Buy.
Mr Gill explained that predictions about a slow-down to completed transactions, due to lack of housing appropriate for first-time buyers, have proven premature for now.
“However, the inexorable rise of first-time buyer house prices does suggest that the demand for such properties is still outstripping supply and the government’s reticence to fully overhaul the planning system will not alleviate that crush.”
The average purchase price paid by first-time buyers in London was £306,514 in the first quarter this year, while Northern Ireland was the cheapest region for first-time buyers at an average of £102,247.