Will more of us be renting in the future?
4 min | 04 December 2023
We ask a musician and a software engineer why they have embraced the flexibility of renting and what this new mindset has done for their personal and professional freedom.
Property ownership is a financial goal for many Brits, with renting traditionally seen as second best. But priorities can change, and with the rise of flexible working, renting has become a top choice for some people. Here, two of them discuss the freedom it can provide.
How renting can liberate your career and lifestyle
Financial necessity is driving increased demand for rental properties. Interest rates, house prices and the cost of living are all on the rise, and would-be buyers may struggle to save sufficient deposits.
Some renters choose to see a positive side: renting can offer flexibility and help them further their professional or personal plans.
Theo Goss, an accomplished jazz drummer, needed a space to suit his specific needs. And he’s found it in a property in Leeds that he rents with fellow musicians and creatives.
“We share a house with a basement, which we can use for practice and rehearsals. All of us being creatives, we can exchange information about work opportunities, which is helpful from a professional perspective.”
Theo and his friends might consider buying a shared house together, but in the current market, it’s not a priority. Instead, they’re concentrating on how they can further their careers together.
Trading the desk job for digital nomadism
Thanks to the rise in hybrid working, there is a new breed of digital nomad who can travel and work from anywhere in the world – and isn’t tied down by property ownership.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, IT specialist Dennis Brown sold his house and relocated to Hawai’i. Seeking to experience a different way of life, he’s since worked from around the globe.
Today, he’s based in Thailand and works both locally for a Thai app and remotely for a company headquartered in Chicago.
“I used to be a homeowner, and I had a portfolio of properties, but I much prefer renting,” he says. “It gives me the professional and personal freedom to pursue opportunities when they come up, rather than being tied to one place.”
He also appreciates how easy it makes international travel. “I'm planning to visit more of Asia, perhaps in the future, and the flexibility of hybrid working and renting means I can go and experience life in a different country whenever I wish to,” he says.
Does the UK need a rethink about renting?
Though unpopular in the UK, renting is much more common and accepted across the EU. Overall, 30% of the EU population rent their homes, and in Germany, just over 50% of residents are tenants.
With house prices beyond the reach of many and recent rises in mortgage rates, it could be cheaper to rent than to buy.
For example, Dennis chooses to rent furnished apartments and avoid the hassle of buying and selling furniture every time he moves.
“All I take with me is one suitcase and a backpack,” he says. “It is incredibly liberating.”
“With renting, the responsibility of maintenance and fixing things up lies with the owner. As a tenant, I don’t have to spend money on the upkeep,” he adds. “It has freed me up emotionally and mentally to concentrate on enjoying my life.”
Although rent payments don't go towards ownership of a property, with less debt and more surplus income renters may have more choices around their money. They might open a high-interest savings account, pay off credit card or other debt, put aside money for short- or long-term investments or think about paying into a pension.
Whatever you decide to do, look after your money. Chase's easy-access saver account lets you start saving with as little as you like.
18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account. T&Cs apply.
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