Spanish renters get help, should they in the UK?

Will Leyland, 15 October 2021

If there’s anything that’s almost certain in the UK property market, it’s that renters are going to keep growing as a proportion of the market for the foreseeable.

There’s lots of reasons to believe that the government won’t build enough houses to meet demand any time soon. Primarily that there’s the fallout of a pandemic and Brexit to occupy them in the meantime.

Add to this the huge recent growth in house prices vs wage growth, and the deposit required of most is enormous.

One final thing is having to have an almost immaculate credit history so that you can pass the mortgage companies’ credit checks and requirements.

All of those ingredients added together don’t make the ideal recipe for home ownership, and that gap is set to only grow further. So, without some pretty radical action (nobody seems to be able to answer what that looks like) then perhaps it’s time to consider measures that make it better for renters.

Radical Spain

Could it be the Spanish government that lead the way in this regard? According to the BBC, “Spaniards aged 18-35 should be offered a monthly bonus to help them leave their parents’ home and pay rent, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has proposed.

The €250 (£213; $290) benefit would be given for up to two years and is part of a broader housing package.

A draft rental law would also introduce rental caps for big property owners, particularly in areas where rent has soared in recent years.”

It may seem a fairly revolutionary move, however, with rents and house prices growing quickly, it could allow renters to make the initial move out into the market.

That being said, one risk to the UK market is that it could massively overheat things, raising rents even further. So whilst the scheme may be suitable for the Spanish market, there are definite risks in the UK.

Further to that, there needs to be further supply to the market in the form of available properties.

One potential remedy to this is to give councils greater powers to seize derelict or abandoned property and provide funding through taxpayer cash to renovate and rent them below the market rate.

What we do know is that despite wages growing recently, it’s highly unlikely that they’re going to keep pace with the level of growth in house prices.

The government needs to find a way to help renters both afford and find housing as more and more people will need it in the coming years.

Having said that, if you need advice on what housing may be available near you, how to shop for your budget, or any specialist requirements, then it always helps to speak to an agent who is a local expert and who can give you the best possible advice.


Will Leyland, 15 October 2021