4 min read

A study of 1,000 renters reveals people are happy to rent long-term and have no plans to purchase a property.

A third of renters (33%), which equates to over 1.48 million renter households in the UK(1), are happy to rent long-term and have no plans to purchase a property in the future, new research reveals.

The feeling of freedom

Examining people’s thoughts on buying a home, nearly a third (31%) said they don’t think getting on the property ladder is important.

A quarter of renters (26%) state that they don’t want the responsibility of owning a home and love the freedom of renting, whilst almost 1 in 10 (7%) said they prefer to spend their money elsewhere, such as travel and other life experiences.

As more people rent in the UK than ever before(2), the research, carried out by sofa specialists, Sofology, examines the shift in the property market, from a culture of buying to long-term renting, not just for financial reasons. It explores the happiness levels of UK renters and how people create that sense of ‘feeling at home’ wherever they live.

The majority of renters are happy with their current living arrangements, with 83% citing they feel settled in their current home. Almost two thirds (61%) stated that renting made them happy.

Creating that feeling of home

Looking further at how people create the feeling of being at home, the majority (80%) said they bought their own furniture, while 67% say it’s down to soft furnishings like rugs and cushions, and another two thirds say they have redecorated.

Transforming a rental house into a home comes at a cost, with nearly one in twenty (5%) investing over £3000 in the last year to make their rental property feel like a home they love. Top spends are on furniture (25%), redecorating (29%) and unique home accessories (11%).

The city happiness factor

The cities that came out happiest in terms of a range of factors(3), from long-term rental averages, to happiness renting and importance of getting on the ladder, are as follows: Chelmsford, Coventry, Cardiff, Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton, Newcastle, Glasgow, Southampton, Leicester

“It’s our mission to make people feel at home on a sofa they love. It is at the very heart of what we do here at Sofology. As renting has become more prevalent in society, we wanted to explore how people are making their rental properties a long-term home. We were surprised to find that the majority of renters are happy with their living arrangements and have no plans to buy a property. It shows a clear shift in societal norms. You don’t have to own somewhere to make it feel like your home.

Our study shows that renters have become accomplished in making their house a home and with half saying they have already been renting for 10 years or more, it’s clear they plan on staying put. People who add their own home accessories and finishing touches with items like light fittings and photographs create a sense of home, but the majority say that adding their own furniture was the best way to feel settled”

Andy Leadbetter
CMO at Sofology

Research carried out in March 2018 by Sofology, looking at 1,000 renters around the UK.

1. Figure derived from Gov UK 2016 rental household stats.
2. Figures derived from 2016 Gov UK rental market stats.
3. Averages taken from a range of study questions to collate happiness factor average across UK cities.


About Sofology

Helping everybody feel happier and more comfortable at home - that's what we’re all about. Originally founded in the North West of England in 1974, Sofology now has stores all across the UK. Providing specialist sofa advice and interiors inspiration for your home, our stores are designed to be a haven from the chaos of traditional sofa shopping.