Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Number of people who rent their homes here set to rise

By Staff Reporter

Published 16/02/2016

In 2000, just over 72% of people in Northern Ireland owned the home they lived in, with around 28% renting from either private landlords or the public/social sector
In 2000, just over 72% of people in Northern Ireland owned the home they lived in, with around 28% renting from either private landlords or the public/social sector

Northern Ireland could have among the lowest level of home ownership in the UK by 2025, according to experts.

In 2000, just over 72% of people in Northern Ireland owned the home they lived in, with around 28% renting from either private landlords or the public/social sector.

New analysis from PwC shows that by 2025, home ownership is likely to fall significantly, with fewer than 60% owning their home and around 40% renting.

Previous PwC research highlighted the rise of private renting across the UK, particularly among 20- to 39-year-olds dubbed 'generation rent', and predicted its continuation throughout the course of the next decade.

The research shows Northern Ireland will experience high growth in private renting, reaching more than 25% by 2025, driven by relatively low levels of housebuilding and more youthful demographics as younger people are more likely to rent.

Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC chief economist in Northern Ireland, said a variety of factors were in play.

He said: "Across the UK, a lack of new affordable housing stock, high deposits and property prices outpacing income growth, all combine to increase the numbers of those in so-called 'generation rent.'

"In Northern Ireland this is accompanied by a significant number of properties still in negative equity and a lack of confidence in the market from both developers and potential purchasers.

"Add a young and mobile workforce who often prefer high-quality rental apartments to purchasing terraced properties and we are seeing the emergence of a generation that perceives private renting as a real option to property ownership and its attendant costs and liabilities."

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