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No place like home - is it cheaper to rent or buy?

If you can’t afford to buy, renting is cheaper. Right? Well the latest figures show that might not be the case with average mortgage payments LESS than average rent payments. But does that mean buying a home costs less than renting?

If you look at the annual cost, it would appear so. Over the last five years, we’ve seen both rental and mortgage payments increase. However, the average cost of rent has grown far quicker. In 2015 it’s eight percent more expensive each month to rent, with an annual difference of £672.

In fact, not so long ago in 2009, renting was significantly cheaper each month than having a mortgage with a 16% difference between the two.

Why is renting more expensive than buying?

So what’s behind this change?

Partly to blame is the high value of the average home, pricing many out of the market. The rise of buy-to-let properties has also had an effect. With landlords snapping up extra homes, there are less available for people to buy.

Both these trends have forced many to rent instead. This in turn means there’s greater demand for rental homes, which leads to a more competitive market, which leads to higher rents.

At the same time, interest rates have been at 0.5% for six and a half years, bringing down the average mortgage repayment, and contributing to the increasing difference.

It’s not just a London bubble either. The cost of renting around the country is higher all over the UK except the South East (and then only by 1%). Some of the most extreme are shown in the chart below.

How does the UK compare? Find out the differences across the whole country

North East (12% more to rent);

Scotland (10% more to rent);

Wales (10% more to rent);

South West (9% more to rent;

East Anglia (8% more to rent);

Northern Ireland (7% more to rent);

North West (6% more to rent);

West Midlands (6% more to rent);

Greater London (6% more to rent);

Yorkshire & Humber (3% more to rent);

East Midlands (3% more to rent);

South East (1% less to rent)


Reveal the answer Hide answer

Can you afford to buy?

However cheaper monthly mortgage payments aren’t the only costs – and they don’t necessarily mean you’re better off buying a home than renting.

First you’ve got to consider if you’ll need to save for a deposit. The larger your deposit is as a proportion of the property’s value, the less you need to repay. You’ll also be able to apply for lower mortgage rates. However with house prices so high, even a 10% mortgage requires a sizable down payment.

Getting a mortgage is also dependant on passing affordability checks, with your credit history and spending habits under the lender’s microscope. So not only could debts get in the way, but also how much you spend on a night out and holidays.

Once you own a property, you’re also responsible for maintaining it. So if your roof leaked or your boiler broke, there’s no landlord to cover those costs for you.

On top of that are the sizeable upfront costs. From Stamp Duty to solicitor’s fees, the total cost at the start is often bigger than you’d expect.

That’s not to say renters also don’t get hit with hidden costs. From agency and reference fees to cleaning and damage costs when you move out, these can quickly add up if you move every few years.

However, if you can stump up a decent deposit and find a place you want to buy, the money you put into a mortgage will still be yours – albeit tied up in the property - when you make that final payment (minus the interest of course).

Will an interest rate rise make make it better to rent or buy?

When you get a mortgage you’re not just paying back the money you borrow, you’re also paying interest on it.

While rates are currently low, any increase will see repayments go up too. Just a half a percent jump from 3% to 3.5% on a 25-year mortgage of £125,000 is worth £396 a year.

If the Bank of England base rate rose to 2.5%, that extra two percent would add £137 a month – or £1,644 a year

However, despite various hints that rates could go up late this year or early next, it’s all speculation. The recent developments globally, particularly in China, have prompted analysts to say it could take longer. Plus, when they do rise, it’s also likely the increase will be gradual.

So yes, mortgage repayments will go up at some point and could bring the two prices more closer. Yet there’s no reason to suggest rents won’t go up in line with a landlord’s increased mortgage repayments.

Is renting is the only option?

Despite this, for certain groups buying is increasingly unlikey, with higher rents making it even more difficult to save each month for a deposit.

There is some hope though. Help-to-Buy and other schemes can provide a boost, and the new Help-to-Buy ISA is launching in December.

However, if schemes like these are still a leap too far, then a future as “generation rent” is on the cards – and it's unlikely there is much you can do to battle rising rents.

What do you think?

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  • chris gerrard / 29 March 2016

    the hole system is a mess we need lot of homes to rent or buy that can be reached buy the minumin wage earner

  • Kovi Rangasamy / 28 March 2016

    Definitely renting will be the better option in the foreseeable future. With rising cost of living it will be difficult to get on the property ladder without parental help , unfortunately so but luckily the opportunity to rent is the alternate positive decent clear view.

  • Aly / 25 March 2016

    We would love to be able to save for our own home. After renting for the last 7 years,we had enough with the stress of finding a new home. We have pets cause we can't have kids and when you are a pet owner you cannot find a good home. Sure, some people would say get rid of the pets,but our pets are our children. When you rent you do not have a choice I think. We are now looking to try to save somehow and at some point maybe someone will die and leave us an inheritance cause even with our decent income seems impossible to put any money aside.

  • Eric King / 21 March 2016

    If you buy and then you are taken ill and will never work again, you are on your own you have to pay the mortgage and rates etc. The state turns its back on you and leaves you lose you investment. Rent and the state steps in and pays your rent rates and assists with fuel costs etc. Don't buy unless you have a crystal ball and know your future.

  • AnnaT / 20 March 2016

    One way to look at the price of buying a home with a mortgage is to look on the monthly payment as a rental value. Even if the monthly payment is in excess of the notional rental value, this money is going towards the purchase of your home, not into a landlord's pocket. You will also be on the housing ladder with collateral towards your next home should you chose to move.

  • D / 20 March 2016

    Help to buy is not really 'help'. It means that you can have only 5% deposit but at the same time borrow with extortionate rates (eg from 2.5% rate for a 10% deposit to >4% with a 5% deposit). It is misleading to even suggest this is 'help' . Its nothing more than old fashioned loanshark-type of deal. Beware...

  • Sylvia Peacock / 19 March 2016

    With the social sector having to reduce their rents by 1% for the next 4 years by government order, surely this will bring renting costs down so would be nearer mortgage costs. Many people cannot for different reasons buy their home, so renting is their only option. As they are selling of the social housing slowly by allowing people to buy them they are not replacing them with like for like. And as for affordable rent, how they expect people to be able to afford this so called "affordable rent" I do not know. What is the fascination with everyone owning their own home? Some people will never be able to, so stop trying to get everyone to buy and get in debt which is what is happening because people lose jobs, become ill and cannot work etc. Those that can afford to buy a house go to the private sector and buy a home, not social housing please.

  • Mark Bell / 13 March 2016

    All this uk housing problem started back in the early 1980's when that Greedy,selfish, short sighted - off loading every governmental responsibility Mrs Dictaor Thatcher - portrayed she was helping Great British working class to buy their own homes - ha
    Mindless people fell for it in their thousands - buying their Council houses - senselessy ?
    thinking they had bought into an empire
    All that greedy act did :
    a) Brought in funding for the Thatcher government to squander - ON WHAT ?

    Thatcher signed em all up buying those social houses for a small amount
    Yes, those working class had homeownership - but now THEY maintain the Kitchen replacement - the new roof project - the central heating - the new Windows & doors - the new bathroom etc etc
    And NOT the Government anymore
    Plus - in this one single swoop Thatcher killed all the industrial debates & trademans Strikes,
    WHY - because NOW the MORTGAGE had to be paid OR those mindless working classes who bought their Council houses - would be in arrears & face eviction so being made homeless from that very same home they safely rented but now through greed - screwed themselves over to the idle hands of that selfish Mrs Thatcher !

    b) in those working class people buying those tiny Council houses with little value in them - THEY themselves being selfish & short sighted simply Removed Council Social housing from the stock availability
    Because in TRUTH if you didn't' grow up in a Council Social housing development - then YOU wouldn't be buying one off them - now would you.
    So those that bought them, lived in them - then they die - who has them then
    HENCE : shortage of housing & as a consequence Prices of NON Council houses Up - panic is fabricated & prices go higher higher
    Only to the benefit of those filthy rich money lenders - The Governments mates / friends

    Now 30 years on From Thatchers wickedness The UK's NATION is now becoming a modern 3rd world set-up with Parents in their 50's still having their once children NOW Full grown late 20 early 30 year old ADULTS milling about in their parents homes because of those mindless greedy actions of that Sad Sicko Thatcher's Dictatorship in the 1980's

    Today, only luxury businesses - cars - clothes - holidays - fast food - restaurants etc are doing well out of those trapped millions - working on average Salary jobs - living at Mummy & Daddy's, still - who would otherwise be spending that same money on their homes with their new families
    Instead of having to live with their middle-aged parents hindering their lifestyles in the process

    Nightmare - build the Social housing with the money from selling those council homes in the 80's

    And house prices should only be Maximum 3 years of Salary not in excess of flaming 10 years salary
    All boils right down to sheer greed of the UK Human wealthy selfish --------

  • tim rose / 9 March 2016

    Money Advice

    £7 billion per year gets paid to private landlords in housing benefits payable to working households who do not earn enough to pay full rent, and are not eligible to council housing in short supply.

    If you want some MoneyAdvice... send it to the government.

    BTL landlords and cut price employers are rinsing the UK.

  • tim rose / 9 March 2016

    Oh one more thing ...

    Imagine building a home which lasts for 100 years, and recouping the cost of the build over that period, before demolishing it and rebuilding,

    The average build costs, excluding developers profit and land cost is around £80,000. So if you want to avoid those costs it needs to be state owned.

    So that leaves about £80,000 to build a basic home.

    Assuming zero inflation, and no interest payments required, that's £800 + maintenance costs per year payable by the tenant to recoup the entire build costs over 100 years.

    Even with inflation, and interest, state owned housing need not be much more expensive than the original cost of bricks and build.

  • tim rose / 9 March 2016

    Well this advice is based upon what is already proving to be a flawed model of property investment, which relies on the next generation paying in more in prices or rental yields than the previous.

    If across generations property values and rental yields were static, no one would invest, and no rises would be possible.

    Of course people still have a need for a home, and it needs to be affordable, and leave income to permit other productive and useful activities in life. Failing this you will see a failing housing market.

    My advice is do not give advice on a flawed housing model

  • Nicholas Humphries / 9 March 2016

    Can we get rid of this term "rent". You are buying a house regardless whether it is in your name or someone else's. That is why the rent's are so high. The only difference is whether it is a short term loan of property or a long term loan of money.

  • Nicholas Humphries / 9 March 2016

    There is an increasing group of people that are being dismissed by researchers, one of which I am. This group is divorcees. Having been divorced at 55 I have been forced to lose my house by the mortgage company and the courts. The court did not forced me ex wife to proceed with a divorce and the bank would not give me a mortgage for my property alone. Even though my income supported the mortgage payment twice over by their calculations. This was pure ageism and interference in my divorce. I know of at least three other men who have been forced out of their home with them having the house given to the ex partner because of children. The ex partner then ends up with a house already half paid for by the ex partner!!!!! I personally have no chance of ever owning my own home again because of the bank.

  • hilary brown / 8 March 2016

    it is always cheaper to buy than rent but some people find it diffecalt to find the down payment

  • Deirdre / 8 March 2016

    My next door neighbour rented his house from the owners, a charitable trust until the cost of a mortgage became less that his rent. he then bought, having established that his neighbours were friendly and that his family liked the area.

  • Andrew / 6 March 2016

    Also what hasn't been mentioned is that most people buy and sell a few times (average of 4). With an upfront cost of 20K or so per move that is 80K gone in up front costs that renters don't pay. The opportunity cost is to invest this 80K in other things which makes you money that buyers won't have. So there are many factors involved and buying and selling every couple of years is not a good option (apart from London). The other benefit of renting is every couple of years you can upgrade and move into a newly refurbished property and never have to pay the costs in a major refurbishment. So there are so many factors and there is not one right answer and not just financial.

  • Patrick O'Donnell / 6 March 2016

    Do you factor in the cost of maintenance for the life of the property which can be costly and the cost of building insurance for owned properties?

  • R H / 5 March 2016

    I am 57 years old and my mortgage payments are zero, paid my mortgage off about 3 , years back, if i had rented i would paying that for the rest of my life. It's not hard to work out what's cheaper is it !!!

  • Paul / 4 March 2016

    Renting is fine until you reach retirement and your income drops by half or a 3rd if you rely on a pension. Continuing to pay high rent maybe impossible. However if you have paid the mortgage off then only utility bills need to paid. Owning your own home isn't rampant capitalism it should be a basic option, whether its mad of mud or bricks. Renting property just provides income or investment returns for more capitalistic entrepreneurs!

  • Paul Long / 4 March 2016

    You forgot to mention Co-op housing

  • Matt S / 2 March 2016

    We CHOOSE to rent and have done for 18 years. We can afford to buy but have no interest in it (our rent is £1200 a month); the trick is to rent a non buy-to-let house that is wholly owned so the rent is reasonable. We also claim a chunk back in business expenses as we run our company from home. Our utter obsession with "buying" a house is killing our economy. Look at Germany; plenty rent there. We've imported a US mindset and its destroying our nation.

  • Douglas Sneddon / 2 March 2016

    As a growing number of people are finding themselves priced out of the housing market and more younger people realise that they have little hope of getting on the property ladder then renting is the only option. Is it better to buy your own bricks - or pay for someone else's?

    Greed has played a large part in creating the housing problem with buy-to-let landlords taking up most of the cheaper properties that people could afford to buy themselves, especially the young first time buyers. Now that the new tax regulations are about to bite the landlords they are desperately trying to unload property that now nobody can afford to buy. At the same time families are being thrown out of properties when the landlord manages to get a sale.

    There is a roof over your head (as long as you can pay the inflated rental prices) but it is difficult to relax and and be at ease with that when in the back of your mind the question remains, "for how long?" The same situation applies to those who got a mortgage and borrowed to the maximum limit of their available credit just have a place to call their own. They too, now live in fear of interest rate rises and unemployment. It does not take much to derail the best of intentions.

    The same smiling faces that took your money at the outset for the rental contract (and exorbitant "fees") or the mortgage lenders with their empty promises will now hound you for possession of the property and more of your hard earned money and with the courts blessing.

    Having had experience of both incompetent and completely inept mortgage lenders, mortgage advisor's and estate agents then I can see that buying and selling of property is overdue a complete overhaul. It does not matter if you buy or rent, there are questionable and unscrupulous people in a position to cause you a great deal of misery and expense.

    Houses are supposed to be homes for families not cash assets for the greedy to turn a profit aided by people who should consult their moral compass.

  • Will Barber / 1 March 2016

    Help to buy, and Shared Ownership just help prop up prices.
    Prices must drop a lot for youngsters to manage. Land prices would eventually adjust accordingly.
    I will have to sell my house to give my children help. If the price dropped it would provide the same help to my children and I would probably end up no worse off.
    Of course, building more too is needed, and how about increasing fees markedly on landlords as they accumulate houses.

  • h weber / 27 February 2016

    if you can buy a house on long term it will make you some money and what is very importent you live in your own 4 walls

  • max haymes / 27 February 2016

    Renting is generally cheaper if you cannot afford the deposit required to buy! Speaking as one who has been a house owner in years gone by but I am now a private tenant and have been for over 25 years!.

  • * / 25 February 2016

    I bought my own home on my own and renovated it to increase it's value. I sold it and bought another one. With the extra money I renovated my next house and sold it. I did this two more times and after fours years I just bought a house outright. I'm 34 and mortgage free. I could now buy a bigger house with a small mortgage or stay where i am mortgage free. Regardless, when i'm an old lady i can downsize and use the money for my pension or i can retire early. Renting is a waste of money as by the time you are old you have nothing to sell as your nest egg. If you can pull together a deposit to get on the ladder it is well worth it in the long run instead of lining the pockets landlords for their pension pot.

  • Graham Field / 24 February 2016

    Actually it is not the bottom line regarding Rent or mortgage repayments that should concern potential buyers. I have been a landlord for 14 years with just a small number of flats to top up my pension, I consider myself to be paternalistic and being a humanist believe fair play and doing right to others is fundamental.
    So what has happened in the past 14 years. For a start outside Greater London and the known wealthy areas like Essex. The Whirral, Oxford, Stamford and similar places, Rents have not gone through the roof in some cases they have stagnated, I blame the minimum wage for most of the problem people are having with rents. My reasoning, Prior to the minimum wage the unskilled and semi skilled would 'usually' be paid what the employer estimated the job was worth to the company. and usually paid accordingly, Now if a worker is needed it is the minimum wage + 30p or so,
    For instance 14 years ago my very first Tenant worked for 'Cattles Finance' he earned 13.5k p/a. or £ 7.40p an hour. The Rent for a fully furnished C/H flat was £65 p/w.Some three years ago a potential tenant worked for the same company. on asking about his earning he
    replied about £7. 70 an hour about £ 14.k. The Rent has increased to £74 p/w. the reason is affordability, Where does inflation stand at over the last 14 years? What is the % increase in the minimum wage and the earnings of semi skilled and unskilled workers the latter is 'Minimal'
    In the mean time I cannot increase my rents, But. lets look at what else has increased. My insurance has more than doubled, Electricity 14 years ago was 5p kw/hr. now 14p pence . Gas has doubled, Bus fares more than doubled. fuel until recently, doubled. worst of all where as non skilled labour wages have stagnated. I find the following A joiner 10 years or so ago £120 for a days work. presently £220. Electrician was £160, now £250-£300. and worst of all Gas fitting and plumbing a Gas fitter expects at least £400 a day and the going rate for labour to replace a failed central heating boiler for six hours work is £600. a sort of Cartel is in existence here.
    So the stress being a tenant is 'Can I afford the rent and services' the stress in being a mortgagee. is, Can I afford the Mortgage, what if interest goes up? cost of services. Cost of repairs, ie cooker fails, Fridge breaks down, Boiler u/s, Roof Leaks, Painting
    bed needs replacing, all these are a massive cost on top of the mortgage A tenant just 'Calls the Landlord. Also as a potential buyer you need to accept that the care free life of being a tenant is going to end. You need to save to get a deposit. save for repairs. save for replacements. so social life is pretty much watching TV and very important learn DIY!!

  • Rita Moss / 22 February 2016

    If you buy, you are then responsible for all the charges due to the house, including the upkip.
    Insuring the house and contents, boilers, etc. adds up. Then, at the end of it, if you own the property, when you are old and need to go into a home, you have to sell it to pay for your
    rest home.. If you rent, after you have paid your rent, all the rest of your income is yours.
    If you need welfare help, and you rent, it is easier to get benefits and even your rent paid....and a nursing home free.......Many things to be considered....The choice is yours.

  • R Renwick / 21 February 2016

    The whole push to get people "on the home ownership ladder " whilst putting policies into place which reduce social housing, discouraging new builds, including discouraging new builds in the commercial market, is a cyncial attempt by successive Conservative govts to control the population and their political allegiance. Who's going to vote for a party who might reduce, or even take away their hope of their own personal profit on their home, however illusory. And who's going to protest about socially divisive policies, when they risk ending up on the streets themselves? No, it's safer for these anxious home loaners to accept the govt view that the ever increasing numbers of people who've become the devastated victims of these policies, are to blame for their plight, being shiftless, feckless scroungers etc., and that they will be safe from global changes in economics, if they realise there is such a thing, if they just keep their heads down.

  • Nigel / 21 February 2016

    Surely, your comparison of mortgage and rental payments is very short term. After the mortgage term (say 25 years), you own a house worth maybe hundreds of thousands of pounds, and can then live 'rent free' there for the rest of your days (or can sell it). The capital value of the house is likely to have increased several fold. After 25 years paying rent, what have you got: a lifetime of paying more rent! Also, sure, mortgage rates may well fluctuate up and down, but you can be certain rents will increase relentlessly over that time just due to inflation (even say 2% annual inflation compounded means a 64% increase after 25 years). Maybe you should show a comparison over this longer timescale: I suspect you will find buying wins hands down over renting, even allowing for maintenance and other costs.

  • Karen / 20 February 2016

    Surely the government should be able to change the laws on buy to let so the greedy landlords cannot buy up every property going. Having said that, a mortgage is like having a ball and chain. These days with jobs disappearing it might be better to rent just for having the freedom to move when you need to without the stress of having to sell first.

  • Vic Field / 19 February 2016

    What about repairs to the property
    New boiler, roof repairs, décor ect
    If you own the property you have to maintain the property

  • farouk khan / 18 February 2016

    If the government is running the country,then why can't they set some sort of capping on rising prices.It's quite ridiculous that people cannot afford to buy,and yet having to pay high rents.I think at least the rent can be capped!.if i'm correct most home owners have bought their homes 20+years ago.so inevitably they have paid off their mortgage;so now more or less sitting pretty.however, these owners or landlords should not be raking in on vulnerability situations,as most people are in.government can act on this!my suggestion:3 bed maxi 850 pounds.2 bed=550.1 bed=400.don't forget most landlords have '0' mortgage to pay,so its almost 100% profit apart from small expenditures.

  • Garry Clayton / 17 February 2016

    Andy web, You haven't a clue. The comparison should be over a life time. You've not factored maintenance into either equation. Kindly dream up some other vague article for us to read, and go back to academia. C- must try harder.

  • Mark / 16 February 2016

    The report and comments below seem to have forgotten, ( or have been written by people too young to remember ! ) about the terrible days of negative equity and many people handing their keys back to the building society because their house was worth considerably less than the mortgage. You can't always assume that properties will keep going up in value especially if the issue of a shortage of supply is dealt with as house prices already are probably artificially high. Things tend to go in cycles and unfortunately negative equity will occur again but when is the question !

  • Kettle Potter / 12 February 2016

    The kitchen needs an upgrade also the holiday source.

  • Mark b / 11 February 2016

    This report has forgotten to add repair/ maintenance costs to your house which everyone who owns a property has to have money for.
    Whether it be a boiler on the blink, a few tiles missing on the roof that need repairing or a fence panel that needs there's nearly always something that needs paying out for.

    We were fortunate to buy the property that we live in back in 2012 when prices were a lot cheaper.
    Our mortgage payments are £200 a month cheaper than the rented property that is next door to us! It is exactly the same size property at more or less the same value as ours.

  • Gail / 9 February 2016

    I would be interested to know the 'true' difference re the annual costs of renting and buying when taking into account purchase fees etc. You would think that deposit + stamp duty + legal fees converted into a monthly amount over the term of a mortgage (plus insurances that you have to have, plus average maintenance costs) would all add up to make the amounts closer.

  • Jon / 8 February 2016

    After putting down a £70000 deposit on my house I would really hope mortgage repayments were cheaper than renting.

  • James Trueman / 5 February 2016

    Couple of economic misconceptions
    - If landlords buys a home to rent overall supply and demand is unchanged, one extra family needs to rent, one extra house is available. Scaled up 10,000 extra renters, 10,000 extra houses, should not cause any adjustment in price. There will be a modest effect on supply caused by vacant accommodation/gaps in tenancy arrangements.
    - "there’s no reason to suggest rents won’t go up in line with a landlord’s increased mortgage repayments." is also a bit dodgy. If the costs for a landlord goes up, why would this effect the rental price. It's supply and demand, he would just be pricing himself out of the market.
    These items are also inconsistent and are predicated causing the bubble. The same idea that as a landlord you can't lose investing in bricks and mortar.

  • Stephen Collingswood / 4 February 2016

    The less appreciated benefits of renting are overlooked in this article - for many potential buyers the unforeseen costs of maintenance are not ones that are easily met for those on a tight budget. Replacement boilers, cookers, new roofs windows etc can come to significant payments -I know as a landlord I have had to do all these in only a couple of years to a single property - the tenants would have had real worries being faced with these bills along with unknown interest and capital repayments.
    Buyers should not fall into the trap of stretching their budgets as their predecessors did in the years prior to 2008 without having considered these potential costs.

  • Richard / 30 January 2016

    These articles always ignore the fact there is a return of investment when buying. You get a resale value when you sell, including potential profit. No landlord is going to give you a rebate, however long you've rented, nor would they agree to such terms in advance.

  • Bob / 27 January 2016

    This article does not highlight that to buy a house you need to stump up a significant deposit. To accurately represent mortgage payments over rent you would need to add the interest that you might get on the money that you spend a deposit when buying a house.

    Also value for money when comparing renting over buying might differ when you consider different price brackets of property. For example a three/four bedroom property at £300000 might cost £1500 in interest payments if the interest rate is 5%. When comparing that to the equivalent house for rent at £1500 or even less in some cases. In this case renting would be cheaper. Also this example only takes into account interest payments.

  • Stenka Razin / 19 January 2016

    The rise of programmes on TV promoting Buy To Let (encouraging the envy of profitability of same) are a disgrace. It is also a disgrace for anyone to own more than two homes (many would surely say one is enough). Youngsters can no longer afford to buy houses (as I did in my late twenties); and this is precisely because of the concentration of house ownership in less and less hands.
    In 1980 two years' of entry level professional salary (7K) could buy a semi-detached house (14K) outright in many parts of the West Midlands. Now it would consume six to seven years of equivalent salary (24K) to buy that same house (170K) - even though it is 35 years more degraded!
    The housing market in UK stinks and it has been promoted to be so smelly by successive governments. Failure to regulate. Failure to Build. The sale of council property etc. You name it.... It has been mishandled. We haven't so much had a nanny-state as a rich-man's-state.

  • Linda Davies / 10 January 2016

    Council rent is far better and safer for the family, private renting is the most difficult and less reliable, also landlords need large deposits charge high rents and can get you out at will and find any excuse to not pay back the deposit. So if people can afford the high rents, a chance to buy would be beneficial if the large deposit was cut to a realistic price.....would like to see council build more pre-fab type homes at a lower rent for young couples so they got a credit score and a chance to save for their own property.

  • Gloria / 3 January 2016

    why must we own a property, other European countries have many more rentals, its not a given right that we must own, also yo can move around much easier till you find an area you like best to settle in. you also do not collect as much rubbish renting as you know you may move at any time due to whatever circumstance. I know rent is expensive in some areas & some landlords can be iffy at the very least but choose well & it can be much better than owning with all the hassle it can bring. I have done both & although now retired in our own home at 68 we have only just paid off the mortgage, which when on a low pension is difficult to do. either start young so as to be able to enjoy retirement or save as much as possible for a deposit to lower the mortgage & time over which to pay if you start late. especially now the young will have to work into their 70's as you do not know what health issues may be round the corner.

  • Michael Clewes / 28 December 2015

    To buy or rent ? I took out my last mortgage at the age of 40. Thinking things would be fine for the next 25 years when the property would be mine. 19 years later I had to finish work due to illness. Due to the reduced income I found the repayments took most of my money, plus bills,repairs etc. After surviving for 2 years I decided to sell. I now rent. Although the rent is more than my mortgage payments, I know how much I need each month. My mortgage would now be paid off as I am 65 and retired with a state pension. My overheads are about the same, but I now live in a modern house with lower heating costs, no damp, no repair bills as previous property was 90 years old. If I was younger and could buy I probably would, but you never know what is around the corner. This was my forced choice, but it works for me.

  • Stephen / 23 December 2015

    I fear that it may come to a point where I am unable to buy because of my circumstances. My wife and I are living off one wage right now as she is on maternity leave. Even when she does go back to work, we'll effectively be paying a "second rent" in child care fees. If we do have enough to begin saving for a deposit it will be small and take a long time. I'm pushing 40 and I thought I'd be on the housing ladder by now but it seems like a fading dream.

  • bernard c / 20 December 2015

    @Ashleigh Being able to buy in your 20's is the exception...even more so when you are SINGLE! Few people have found their life partner in their 20's...and when you do, you can not be sure that the relationship will last. I got my 1st morgage in my late 30's , still single because i did not want to invest then lose it all due to the relationship breaking up...Having said that it is easier to get on the property ladder as part of a couple or with mummy and daddy's help!!

  • Derek Colman / 6 December 2015

    It surely stands to reason that renting must be more expensive than buying. If you take an individual property which is bought by a buy to let landlord on a mortgage, the rent will be set to pay off the landlord's mortgage plus show a profit on top. At the end of the rental agreement the tenant will come away with nothing. A buyer who buys that same property will thus pay less than rent, and at the end will have gained the added value from increasing house values. Of course this need not apply if the landlord paid cash, but I doubt that they would offer the property at a lower rent just because they don't have a mortgage. They would ask the market rate I bought a house back in the 1960s, when I already had an offer of a council flat. At the time my mortgage cost twice as much as council rent, but after 10 years council rents had risen to the same amount. At the end of the 25 year mortgage I would have paid less than a council tenant overall, and been the owner of a property worth more than 10 times what I paid for it.

  • Keith Johnson / 6 December 2015

    Interesting arguments - but - after 25 years you live rent free with a mortgage. I have just retired, mortgage paid, so all of my pension can go towards food heating light etc, not some landlords pension fund.

  • Philip / 2 December 2015

    Many good points being made here. However, lots of people mention 'staying with parents' until you can afford to buy. It can't be assumed that this is possible for everyone due to varying social factors. Also, if you have parents that you CAN live with they may live in an area where you can't get work. My family live in rural West Wales where I grew up. I haven't lived there for 11 years and it would be impossible for me to get work there in my field if I went back.

  • Toni Massari / 30 November 2015

    An article on how water is wet and fire is hot...

    It has always been the case!

  • Angus Jack / 28 November 2015

    For many home ownership will never be an option. I think your have only taken rent figures from the private rented sector. Social rented housing, in Scotland is significantly less and a more secure alternative therefor the solution is much greater investment and construction of social rented houses to burst the property bubble. Sadly this is contrary to Conservative ideology of home ownership and inevitably a nation in greater personal debt and problems when interest rates do rise.

  • Julian landeau / 24 November 2015

    *I meant rents always go up, and mortgages go up and down with interest rates but generally go down relative to income over your lifetime.

  • Julian landeau / 24 November 2015

    Starter home is about 120-150k so with a 5% deposit and solicitors fees you'll need 10k saved. And a minimum income of 30k If you're still living at home and earning that you could get it together in 18-24months. If you decide to move out and rent tbh you don't stand a chance of getting the money together without an inheritance or gift from a parent so then seems impossible and you'll be stuck renting and paying for the rest of your life. Don't forget rents go up and down mortgages fluctuate with interest rates admittedly but generally go down relative to income and eventually you'll have paid it off probably in your 50's I would always recommend stopping at home until you can buy.

  • Helen McAllister / 15 November 2015

    Please remember the landlord also has the cost of the mortgage - so any house price increases affect his expenses too - AND the repairs and renewals AND the cost of voids, credit checks, bad tenants, advertising, etc - AND pays tax on any profit. Not all landlords are greedy and lazy, and the profit margins are probably not as high as people imagine.

  • Mike / 4 November 2015

    You also need to take into account the fact that once you have paid off the Mortgage you will be living in the property RENT FREE. So 25 years of almost the same cost of renting/buying then the next 25 years are a lot cheaper for someone who owns the property

  • dan / 29 October 2015

    near 40, not on property ladder, my children will suffer economic loss that other wont. I dont claim beneifts, I have autism, i look after my own. I will be used for rents my entire life, as the credit system is designed to prevent people from getting personal wealth. The whole thing is a con.

  • Harry / 27 October 2015

    Renting is cheaper if you consider all the expenses involving the maintenance of the property. At the same time you also need initial deposit to purchase your home which could take few years depending on the size and price for property and on top of that you have to pay the mortgage even when you are unemployed where as the government pays the rent if you can't.

  • graham yates / 24 October 2015

    what happened in 2010 that made that much difference ?oooohhh yes the Tories came to govern again. Get record amount of immigrants in make the British homeless while housing the immigrants and make rich landlords richer and keep as many as you can from owning property .

  • E. Sykes-Sullivan / 21 September 2015

    Thanks for this information. I am 53 and have never before had the option not to rent. However, as my Dad died recently, I will soon inherit what amounts to a generous deposit, requiring a wee mortgage to enable me to buy my first property. Therefore it's good to know it will be cheaper than renting but for me it will be the freedom of things like being able to put a shelf up knowing a landlord is not going to penalize me.

  • E. Sykes-Sullivan / 21 September 2015

    Thanks for this information. I am 53 and have never before had the option not to rent. However, as my Dad died recently, I will soon inherit what amounts to a generous deposit, requiring a wee mortgage to enable me to buy my first property. Therefore it's good to know it will be cheaper than renting but for me it will be the freedom of things like being able to put a shelf up knowing a landlord is not going to penalize me.

  • E. Sykes-Sullivan / 21 September 2015

    Thanks for this information. I am 53 and have never before had the option not to rent. However, as my Dad died recently, I will soon inherit what amounts to a generous deposit, requiring a wee mortgage to enable me to buy my first property. Therefore it's good to know it will be cheaper than renting but for me it will be the freedom of things like being able to put a shelf up knowing a landlord is not going to penalize me.

  • Stephen Melville / 21 September 2015

    Why is there no mention made of what someone's position might be at retirement?
    You don't get to stop paying your rent from a considerably lower pension income; but, hopefully, if you've paid off your mortgage things are much more manageable.
    I know, as I had my mortgage paid off by age fifty and found myself both more financially comfortable and able to retire early.

  • Helen Bond / 20 September 2015

    I got a mortgage at 37 years old (with a teenage son) on a flat of my own after many years of saving. I think rents would come down if housing benefit allowance was lower as many tenants (like I used to be many years ago) claim part/full housing benefit and landlords take advantage. At the end of the day, a mortgaged home is eventually yours and not dead money, and although I will have upkeep costs, my mortgage is (currently) almost £200 month cheaper than my rent was.

  • Ashleigh / 20 September 2015

    Great article although if you're a first time buyer like we recently were you can buy a home with 5% deposit. So a house worth 150,000 you'd only need 7500 deposit plus solicitor fees and stamp duty another 2500-3000 on top. It is do-able, although much easier if you stay living at home with parents and paying minimal rent to them than if you were to rent and then save for a deposit of course.

    Source- partner and myself did it recently at age 19 and 20, south West, England.