Paul Faith/PA Wire
Millions of Britons are resigning themselves to the possibility of never owning their own home - comfortable with the prospect of long-term renting, according to new research from property portal FindaProperty.com.
Despite rental prices reaching an average £890 per month at the end of last year, one in four renters say the prospect of renting in the long term isn't a problem for them and 38 per cent don't feel that owning a property in the future is critical.
Only half of those surveyed said that purchasing their own home was 'very important' to them. However, renting is still a necessity for more than half of all respondents: 61 per cent say they do so because they cannot afford to buy a home at all.
One in five renters say they decided against buying a home because they could not afford to live in their desired area. Similarly, 6% have been put off buying because the type of house they could afford would be too small for their needs.
For many people the decision to rent is less about finances and more about convenience, with one in 10 saying they choose to rent because of the flexibility it offers.
Samantha Baden, property analyst at FindaProperty.com commented: "A rented home doesn't carry the same stigma as it used to. For many people, the decision to rent is based on the flexibility and convenience renting offers, and not necessarily because they can't afford to buy."
There certainly has been a feeling in Britain that owning a home is the ultimate goal, but perhaps the economic situation is changing that view. While 60 per cent of Britons own their homes, in most other European countries, renting a home is much more the norm.
Just over 50 per cent own their home in France, and just 39 per cent in Germany - the greatest proportion of home renters in Europe.
Ms Baden continued; "There's no denying that home-ownership is still a top priority for many people, but there are still millions of people who don't consider getting a foot on the property ladder as their ultimate aim. In these cases, renting a home can be the best choice for some people and allow them to live the lifestyle they want at a particular time of their lives."
More than half of those currently renting predict that if they do buy a home, this won't happen until they are over 40-years-old and around 11 per cent say they are waiting for the property market to stabilise before they consider buying.