passive property income

Millennials and Gen Z turn to the UK property market as a source of passive income 

A landmark study commissioned by property concierge platform, Moveable, reveals the new intentions of UK home-buying patterns, as homebuyers become increasingly entrepreneurial. 

Moveable is a platform designed to assist prospective homebuyers, movers, and sellers throughout the entire process. From property expert tips for ensuring a smooth and quick transaction, to price comparison technology for services such as skip hires and real-estate agents, Moveable strives to guarantee that anyone looking to purchase, sell or move homes can do so within their given budget, with flexibility, and sufficient knowledge around the complicated process. 

With the intention of better understanding their target demographic, the company conducted a study to discern in what ways British homebuyers’ objectives have changed and concluded that the homeowner generation has seen an acute shift over the course of the last two years. On a raised playing field, leveraging capital for property has become the top priority for buyers; however, when it comes to owning bricks and mortar, investing for developments is now trumping dwelling. 

Research from The English Housing Survey reveals that 35% of Brits who own a second home are using it as a long-term investment and source of income. In addition, the total assets for UK property owners from second homes – including buy-to-let investments and overseas property – has risen in value from £610 billion in 2001 to almost £1 trillion in 2019.  

Once you take into consideration the favourable financial returns that come with being on the property ladder, it is not surprising that UK millennials now perceive the property market as a viable means for a secure secondary income, over and above a place to call home. The effects of the pandemic are also likely to have assisted with igniting a new generation of home-buying patterns, as COVID has undeniably transformed our outlook on housing, our careers, and lifestyle.  

Given this new data, one could easily assume that buying a house had become more financially accessible. However, when analysing the UK property market at a macro-level, it is clear that house prices remain robust across the country, with the average house price continuing to reach new heights, and now sitting at £354,563 – according to the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).  

Property prices saw a sharp £6000 climb in the last month alone, irrespective of the geo-political and socio-economic challenges that have permeated the UK. In tandem, the UK ABC1 population and wider critical mass have seen a steady incline in disposable income, with a “richer” workforce seeing an average yearly household income increase to around £31,772 in 2021 – up from £5,720 in 1985. 

At a first glance, that’s a big number difference. However, it’s important to note that in the 36 years that have elapsed since 1985, inflation has continued to steadily rise, reaching a record 7% in 2022, and subsequently taking down with it consumers’ buying power. Once cumulative prince changes and inflation rates are considered, 1985’s £5,720 suddenly becomes £18,466.99 in 2022 – looks very different, does it not? 

Nevertheless, Moveable’s study is reflective of a generation that has the highest earning capacity we’ve seen in this lifetime. The data reveals that new home-buying motivations have become increasingly lucrative and entrepreneurial, particularly in a sector where the rise in average property prices shows no signs of slowing down. Instead of owning a home purely for security and residential purposes, homebuyers are likely investing in multiple properties with the intention of receiving another stream of income, revealing what looks to be a younger and more property-savvy generation of homebuyers. 

UK Owner/Investors are Getting Younger

• 14% of Brits are looking to buy a house to develop in the next year, with this number rising to 40% for those aged 18-34. 

• 15% are looking to buy a house to refurbish for themselves in the next year, with this number rising to 40% for those aged 18-34. 

• 14% are looking to buy a house as a source of passive income in the next year, with this number rising to 25% for those aged 18-34. 

• 20% of Brits are looking to buy a house in the next twelve months, with this number rising to 32% for those aged 18-34. 

• 28% of Brits are looking to get onto the property ladder before starting a family, with this number rising to 50% for those aged 18-34. 

Simon Bath CEO of iplace Global

Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global, the parent company of Moveable, notes that, “[…] despite the numerous challenges Britain has faced in the last decade, the average property price continues to see constant growth and, now, Millennials have begun to take notice of the opportunities that lie within this sector.” 

“Ever since the beginning of the 2000s, the housing market has continued to see an increasing trend in the ownership of more than one home as a form of income stream – currently, one in ten adults in the UK have wealth from properties additional to their own home, many of them receiving some form of income through developing and buy-to-let.” 

“Throughout the next decade, we will likely see a transformation in home-buying sentiment towards a more entrepreneurial arena as the rapid increase in house prices continues; however, this means that we will also potentially see an increasingly exclusive and lucrative marketplace. Houses are way more valuable now than they used to be, and with that comes investment opportunities for those looking for another form of income generation.” 

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