Majority of renters say they would move a maximum of 17 minutes further away from work to buy a home

Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2019

The latest research and analysis from buy to let specialist, Landbay, has revealed that 76% of private renters would consider buying a property - but not at the expense of their commute.

According to the findings, on average, these commuters will only consider becoming homeowners if their journey time doesn’t increase by more than 17 minutes.

The typical commute for UK tenants stands at exactly half an hour, though the most common commute takes 10-20 minutes. Londoners suffer the longest commutes at 40 minutes, while those in the North East bring the average down at just 21 minutes each way.

Most commuters (38%) drive alone to work. Just under a quarter (22%) walk, 10% get the train, and 6% get the underground; in London these figures reverse, with just 13% driving and 31% taking the tube. In total, 63% of Londoners take public transport to work, double the national average of 27%.

When asked whether they would buy a home for the same monthly cost as they currently spend in rent, the majority of tenants (76%) would be keen.

However, just 6% would buy with no regard to their commute. Highlighting the importance placed on a good work/life balance, 12% of renters would only buy if it didn’t increase their commute at all, and 19% would sacrifice a maximum of 10 minutes.

Overall, only 10% of renters would tag on an additional 30 minutes or more to their commute in order to step onto the property ladder, leaving the average acceptable sacrifice at 17 minutes.

John Goodall, CEO, Landbay comments: “The assumption that buying a home is the be-all and end-all for renters is an outdated one. In fact, we know that 85% of tenants are happy renting and taking the first step onto the property ladder comes second to the other needs in their life.

People want their home to be flexible and appropriate to their lifestyle, which in a world of 24/7 working and shorter stints in each job means that renting is a preference, not a second choice. For aspiring landlords this research underlines the importance of buying in the right location. Being within easy distance of major employment hubs is something that should always be considered in the search for a buy-to-let property.

Today, the private rental sector more important than ever. The number of tenants choosing to rent is only going to increase over the next decade, and as such, the sector must be supported in order to meet this demand.”


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