Research by estate agents Hamptons International and shown that renting a property is a cheaper option than buying in most parts of the UK since December 2014.
Motley Fool reports that according to the figures, tenants spent £71 less per month on average on rent compared to if they were paying for a mortgage where they had a 10 per cent deposit.
In March 2020, on the even of the lockdown restrictions, a buyer with a 10 per cent deposit would have been around £102 better off when buying a home rather than renting, but now it is only cheaper to buy instead of rent in four regions of the UK, including the North East of England, the North West, Yorkshire & the Humber and Scotland.
The biggest shift has been in London, where a buyer with a 10 per cent deposit has gone from being £123 a month better off in March 2020 to spending £251 a month less on the cost of renting in May 2021.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: "The pandemic has reversed a six-year trend which now makes it cheaper to rent than buy a home.
"A year ago, lenders were either increasing their rates or withdrawing higher loan-to-value mortgages altogether. For first-time buyers in particular this pushed up the cost of paying a mortgage if they could get one at all, to well above the cost of renting."
She added that it is likely that the balance will swing back towards buying, as mortgage rates come down, which are still considerably above pre-pandemic levels on higher loan-to-value loans, but this could be offset by rising house prices.
Despite this, she said, the gap between renting and buying is expected to close throughout the remainder of 2021, and back towards longer-term levels in 2022.
Renting rather than buying becomes even more attractive for those buyers with a deposit of only 5 per cent. These buyers will spend around £195 a month more on average than if they had carried on renting.
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