Renting v Buying a Property

Renting v Buying a Property: Which is the Best Option for First Time Buyers?
Renting a property is considered dead money, but buying a house has many pitfalls. What about the difficulty first-time buyers have raising a deposit or negative equity?
First-time buyers have a tendency to automatically dismiss renting a property as they can’t call the property their own. Property rental is often considered dead money as only the landlord benefits from any capital appreciation.
Are Mortgage Payments More Costly than Renting a Property?
There isn’t a great deal of difference between the monthly commitment to rent a property comparative to buying a house. Abbey National research showed that the average cost of buying a home over 25 years would be £437,925 compared to £443,736 for those renting.
The obvious downside to renting a property is that the property always belongs to the landlord. Nationwide figures show that house prices have grown by an average of 8.7% a year since 1952. This means that, on average, house prices double every 9 years.
Someone renting a property will never benefit from this capital appreciation. However, one must always remember that these figures are an average. First-time buyers that purchase a home at the wrong time – should a wrong time actually exist – could experience problems with negative equity.
Falling House Prices and Negative Equity
According to a house price survey by the Nationwide Building Society, the average cost of a house has now fallen £29,000 to £153,048 in January 2009. House prices have fallen by 15.9% during 2008 making them more affordable to first-time buyers.
Do First-Time Buyers Require a Higher Deposit?
It used to be possible for first-time buyers to get a 100% mortgage, but this is no longer an option unless a parent is prepared to act as a guarantor. A guarantor involves a parent using the equity in their own home to secure the mortgage for the first-time buyer.
The number of 95% mortgages has reduced substantially because of the high probability of negative equity. Most first-time buyers will be required to provide a 20% house deposit, although those buying a house with exceptional jobs will be offered higher loan-to-value (LTV) deals. This could be reversed with a loft conversion. Contact for more details.
State Assistance with Mortgage Payments
State assistance with monthly mortgage payments continues to be an issue. Vastly more state help is given to those that rent a property. It is important to ensure that mortgage insurance is in place to protect against property repossession in the event of involuntary unemployment.
Property is likely to continue falling in value over the coming months as the economy continues to slow. However, those that are renting a property stand to benefit considerably through buying a house, provided a long term perspective is taken.