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To buy or not to buy: How property is changing


It’s one of our obsessions here in the UK, owning property. But if we were to look to some of our European counterparts such as Germany, we would see the emergence of a very different trend.

Germany has one of the lowest home ownership rates in Europe, with less than half the population owning a home, and choosing to rent. So, with renting the norm in many economically successful countries, is it right for us to be so obsessed with buying property?

It all comes down to mindset. In the UK, we often think that buying property is a step towards becoming a respected member of society. Remove this preconception and take a look at your lifestyle – renting could be the perfect long-term property plan for you. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • If you happen to work in an industry which offers secondments and regular relocation, you can move quickly, efficiently and economically.
  • The up-front costs are low and, more often than not, refundable.
  • Because of the sizeable tax and fee implications associated with buying, you can often afford to rent a larger property than you could afford to buy.
  • Any repairs are the responsibility of your landlord, meaning budgeting is easier with fewer unexpected costs.
  • There is little to no risk: if property values fall or the property market fluctuates, it has no effect on you.
  • The rental process is usually quicker and more efficient than purchasing a home.

With this said – buying a property can often be the goal we aspire to – the gold at the end of the rainbow – and for lots of us that’s great. But whether you’re saving to buy, happy renting or are undecided – do the reading, look at what kind of property you need and make a decision that suits you, safe in the knowledge that your rent, in the meantime, is not misspent.


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