A third of tenants under-35 have moved home to return to the office, but many say they’re struggling to afford rents
A third of renters under-35 have moved home in the last eight months due to needing to be back in the office, according to a new survey.
With workers increasingly shifting back to at least some time in the office, after the initial lockdown bursts of working from home, more tenants who may have moved out of major cities are having to move back closer to their workplace.
But the pressure for young people of trying to find an affordable place to live during the pandemic was highlighted by the research by home insurer Urban Jungle.
It said that 27 per cent of those polled aged 18 to 35 found renting a place within their budget has become ‘painfully difficult’ since the beginning of the pandemic.
One in three young people have moved home in the past eight months, according to new research
The survey interviewed 1,037 people aged between 18 and 35 earlier this month and came as reports suggest more people are moving back to cities, chiming with workers returning to the office.
Separate research by property website Zoopla found that rents are rising at the fastest pace since 2008 as people rush back to city centres.
Demand for lets in the central zones of Manchester, Edinburgh and Leeds at least doubled between June and September, compared to the first three months of the year, according to Zoopla.
It said in Birmingham demand had increased by 60 per cent – the property site said lettings were being buoyed by the return of office workers and students.
It claimed the higher demand had ‘presented opportunities’ for landlords to raise prices and that even the hardest pandemic-hit city, London, was seeing increased demand.
Zoopla said rents were 4.6 per cent higher in September than a year before at £968 per month on average – the strongest growth seen in 13 years.
The vast majority of young people have found elements of renting and moving house more difficult than before the pandemic. Just 4 per cent disagreed with that statement, said Urban Jungle.
The majority – at 60 per cent – also claim that they are at an ‘unfair disadvantage’ compared to the generations before them when saving money and managing their finances.
One contributing factor to this feeling of unfairness among tenants was being hit by unforeseen expenses – such as agency or legal fees. The research found that this was the case for 62 per cent of young people.
The vast majority of young people have found elements of renting and moving house more difficult than before the pandemic
The research also highlighted some differences between men and women, with 46 per cent of young men having moved house in the last eight months due to needing to be back in the office, compared to only 25 per cent of young women.
At the same time, when looking for a place to live, women find it harder to get one within budget, with 30 per cent claiming this has become tougher than before the pandemic, compared to 22 per cent of men.
Urban Jungle blamed the gap on the continued long-term impact of the pandemic on women’s finances.
Jimmy Williams, of Urban Jungle, said: ‘It was important to us to take a deep dive into the feelings of young people in the ever-changing world of renting – that’s become more turbulent than ever thanks to huge societal shifts as a result of the pandemic.
‘It’s staggering to see that so many young people are struggling to find affordable places to rent and are being stung by unforeseen costs, which is hugely unfair as many need to be in certain areas for their jobs.’
The research matches up with recent data from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that 67 per cent of working adults are now travelling to work again in some capacity.
Separate ONS data found that only the top 25 per cent of earners in London were able to privately rent a property in the city at an affordable rate last year.
Zoopla revealed how rents are rising in major cities across the UK