The scales are tipping in the UK towards a greater number of private renters compared to owner-occupiers, as reflected by the decline in homeownership levels.
Residential property transactions decreased in July, according to the latest statistics from HMRC, which shows that the number of homes changing hands last month dropped 12.4% year-on-year.
The provisional seasonally adjusted UK residential property transaction count for July was just 86,630, leaving many people with little alternative but to rent instead, which is good news for buy-to-let landlords.
Despite a challenging couple of years for the buy-to-let market, characterised by tax and regulatory changes, investment in buy-to-let continues to outperform most major asset classes, supported by record-low mortgage borrowing rates, stable yields, and solid demand from renters.
The widening supply-demand imbalance in the market is placing upward pressure on rental prices, with the latest data from ARLA Propertymark showing that the rent prices increased to the highest level on record in June.
Josef Wasinski, co-founder of Unmortgage, said: “This fall in property transactions indicates the continued struggle of many people still unable to buy their own homes. These figures do little to disguise the grim reality that, for many, the dream of stepping onto the property ladder is still out of reach.
“The ability of first-time buyers to leave behind their ‘reluctant renter’ status and become homeowners is proving difficult for many.
“Unless there is real change and a long-term effort to provide new and alternative routes to homeownership, people will continue to struggle.”