Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mixed Messages on Rent or Buy Debate

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mixed Messages on Rent or Buy Debate

Article excerpt

Byline: Jo Blakemore

THE buying versus renting debate is one that has gained momentum since the launch of the Help to Buy initiative, with many believing that we are turning into a nation of "renty-somethings".

However, the public response to a recent survey contradicts that view and shows that Britons really do prefer a place that is truly their own, with more than half of the respondents saying that buying is a preferred option to renting.

Having said that, two in every five members of the public who were interviewed by researchers for commercial law firm Watson Burton believe it is now more acceptable to rent permanently than in the past.

The financial crash of 2008 seems to have impacted negatively on the public's attitudes towards home-buying, with half of those surveyed thinking that it is now more difficult to get a mortgage to buy a home.

Furthermore, almost half now consider themselves less likely to have any money left to enjoy life once they have paid their basic living expenses.

Despite this, it appears that people do still want to buy property - a third of those we surveyed already owned their homes outright and a further third owned their homes with a mortgage and the remainder rented.

The research was released as industry leaders from across the North East met at the Baltic in Gateshead to debate the Help to Buy initiative and the future of the UK construction industry in a debate hosted by Watson Burton.

It examined the viability of the Help to Buy scheme in practice alongside other Government incentives to kick-start the housing market, as well as looking at wider issues facing the industry and the North East region.

More than 70 people gathered at the event to hear the panel which included Philip Barnes of Barratt Developments, Michael Farr of Isos Housing Group, Paul Richardson of Darlington Building Society, Ross Smith of the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and Janet Hopkinson, Sanderson Young.

Delegates at the Baltic were told that the UK is now building 27,000 fewer houses per year than in 2004 and were asked if the housing crisis been caused by a lack of supply. …

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