Sellers in Scotland, Wales and the North West, three of the country’s most competitive housing markets, have been most likely to rent following the sale of their home. Here, 16.4%, 15.3% and 11.8% of new tenancies respectively taken out so far this year were to someone who had sold their home. The numbers increased as the end of the stamp duty holiday approached, but have remained high subsequently.
Renting before buying has also been driven by house hunters making more long-distance moves. With growing numbers looking to live in areas they know less well, many more are trying before they buy. While moving into a rented home to get to know an area often isn’t people’s preferred option, it’s nearly always more cost-effective than buying the wrong house in the wrong street.
But the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for other rental moves. 49% of tenants – so far this year - moved because they simply wanted to live somewhere different. These are moves often driven by the search for more space. This was up from 48% in 2019 and 38% in 2012 when our records began. Meanwhile, 18% of tenants moved due to a change in family circumstances, a record high.
With workers less closely tied to the office, the proportion of tenants moving because of job relocations has fallen. So far this year just 11.5% of tenants moved for work, the lowest figure on record and down from 13.7% in 2019 (pre-pandemic).