Donside reports strong interest in buy-to-rent

Chap Homes, who are developing the Donside village in Aberdeen in partnership with Tenants First Housing Co-operative, report that more than a third of recent apartment sales are to people buying to rent.

There have been 21 apartments released for private sale at Donside, with 14 sold and seven remaining. Of the14 sales, five have been for private rental.

Donside apartment

“The rental market is growing steadily, but there is a shortage of good rental properties on the market in Aberdeen,” says Karen Davidson, sales co-ordinator with Chap Homes. “An additional attraction of Donside is its proximity to the University of Aberdeen and also to the city centre.”

With mortgages becoming more difficult to obtain, young people are recognising that it may take longer than it did in their parents’ generation, before they feel able to purchase a home. As a result, the average age of a first time buyer is now over 30.

“Even with the availability of 95% mortgages through the MI New Home scheme,” Karen Davidson continues, “it is clear that a growing number of young people see renting as their preferred option, at least in their early years.

“They view renting as offering greater flexibility for home and flat sharing. Also, if they need to be mobile when developing their career, renting means they don’t have to sell before moving.”

Since 2008, many young people who would have been expected to buy a new home have found themselves unable to arrange a mortgage. This has particularly affected first-time buyers.

Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders reveal the scale of the squeeze on first-time buyers. Even at this year’s peak in August, first-time mortgage approvals were down almost 40% on 2007.

With a shortage of rental homes many young people have little option but to wait before moving to their own home. A recent YouGov survey for housing charity Shelter found that more than 1.6 million 20 to 40 year olds are now living with their parents because they cannot afford their own home.
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