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Its Now Cheaper to Rent than Own your Own Home

Press Release   •   Aug 22, 2012 14:57 BST

This is especially true in the new era where interest only mortgages are rare and come at a high price, particularly for first time buyers. The new findings show that on a capital repayment basis and taking into account the initial costs of buying, the common perception held by the majority of existing and aspiring home owners is that it’s cheaper to buy than rent, which is clearly misplaced.

It now costs on average 21 per cent or £2,068 more in the first year of ownership to buy than to rent the average two bedroom property - for those with a 75% loan to value - rising to almost £7,400 in inner London after capital repayments have been taken into account.

Whilst most households understand the long term financial benefits of home ownership, such as wealth generation and lower lifetime housing costs, these benefits have become less attainable; as the costs associated with the early years of home ownership trap more people in the private rented sector.

Over half (51%) of renters and homeowners wrongly believe it is cheaper to buy than rent in the short term. That view is particularly marked inLondonand the South East where rents are rising the most strongly but the costs of buying are still higher. Two-thirds (68%) are of the view that it is cheaper to own in the long-term.

It is still more expensive to buy...

After capital repayments it is 21% (or £2,068 a year) more expensive to buy than rent the average two bedroom property in the UK and over a third more expensive to buy than rent in one in four locations across England and Wales (based on a 25% deposit).

It is 50% (or £5,006 a year) more expensive for a first time buyer with a deposit of just 10% to buy than rent the same 2 bedroom property.

In the first quarter of this year just 11% of homeowners with a mortgage were on interest only terms, a figure that falls to 3% for first time buyers.

It is more expensive to buy than rent across practically all Local Authority Districts inEngland andWales once ownership costs are taken into account. The only exceptions are the London Boroughs of Newham and Greenwich.

However, renters miss out emotionally and financially...

A recent Rightmove survey found that over three-quarters (78%) of consumers view property primarily as ‘a place to live and over half say ‘owning their property when they are older’ is the single most important reason to buy rather than rent.

But the wealth gap is widening between those unable to access home ownership and those who can enjoy the increased wealth that can be accumulated via house price growth.

Whilst there is now an opportunity to buy at or close to the bottom of the market in the next two years, the short term impact of higher buying costs is likely to prevent first time buyers taking advantage of that opportunity.

A recent Rightmove survey found that 56% of renters are ‘trapped’, wanting to buy but unable to afford to, with raising a sufficient deposit the single biggest challenge for 33% of those looking to get on the housing ladder. Highlighting the affordability challenge of getting onto the housing ladder, 58% of intending first-time buyers are of the view that property prices in their area are above what is ‘fair and reasonable’.

Bournecoast research estimates that over the past 25 years house price growth has meant that owning a two-bedroom property has added an average £3,500 to a buyer’s overall wealth in the first year of ownership.

Simon Tebbutt, Business Development Manager, Bournecoast Property Agents, said: “Much analysis of the relative cost of buying compared to renting does not take account of the costs of capital repayments.

“In the current lending environment a calculation on the basis of interest only borrowing – which makes a renting appear around 11% cheaper - is largely irrelevant.”

“Even for those lucky enough to have accumulated a sufficient deposit to allow them to buy in theory, in practice the additional annual cost will inevitably leave some would be first time buyers frozen out of home ownership.” says Simon.

Yet there remains a perception amongst the majority of aspiring and existing owner-occupiers that rent is, in the words of Miles Shipside, Director of Rightmove ‘dead money’.

Simon continues by saying this further supports Bournecoast’s mission in becoming the regions leading ‘Buy To Let’ property investment’ specialists.

Mr Shipside explains: “What continues to come across is that people still want to own the place they live, bring up their family and grow old in. They also understand that home ownership offers lower lifetime housing costs.

“But there is a lack of understanding about the relative costs of buying versus renting in the short term. One in five in our survey admitted they did not know how to work this out. Given the shortage of rental accommodation in many parts of theUK and the consequent pain of rising rents, it’s understandable that more than half of people wrongly believe buying is the cheaper option to renting even in the short term.”

Simon from Bournecoast adds: “In reality aspiring homeowners need to work out whether they are able and prepared to incur the short term additional costs of buying to put themselves in a position to benefit from the longer term gains and avoid the losses associated with lifetime renting.

“Buying has traditionally acted as both a hedge against rental inflation and a means of minimising housing costs in retirement. These issues will be stored up for increasing numbers of households confined to the private rented sector.”

With 52 years of heritage, the Bournecoast team are best placed to give sound advice if you have a property in the area for sale or rent, or are interested in rental properties (long or short term).  Please contact Bournecoast’s friendly team on 01202 437888 or visit

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Words: 1,028

Issued by:

Alexandra Eaton

Marketing Manager


01202 437888


Further Information:

In 2010 Bournecoast celebrated it’s 50th anniversary and has been family run since it’s inception when it was established by Major & June Webb in 1960.  Keith Simmons MBE, the previous managing director and Major Webb’s son-in-law, was then joined by his son and daughters,Des Simmons,Veronica Strongman andAnita Smith, who now run the company with a team of seventeen staff.

Bournecoast Property Agents have extended their skill base within the ever changing property market. 

Over the past 50 years Bournecoast has invested in a skilled – and award winning - workforce, ensuring each member of the team enjoys dealing with people and property whilst ensuring their knowledge of the whole property market is second to none, providing advantage over most local agents.