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The changing face of Britain’s tenants

Data and views from the Consumer Insights & Targeting team at Experian Marketing Services

Richard Jenkings, Lead Consultant, Experian Marketing Services

According to research by Shelter there are only 86 houses for sale in London that are within the reach of the average family. It is not surprising therefore that ONS statistics are showing that for the first time in almost 100 years there has been a reversal in the rise of owner occupation.

This move towards more European tenure patterns has some significant implications for marketers. Whether or not someone owns their own home impacts the way they live their lives and types of products and services they may be interested in. There are obvious impacts for marketers within financial services – the relevance of mortgage products for example – but even beyond that, it also effects how likely we are to move and the kinds of products and services we might buy for the home.

So what trends can we identify in the profiles of today’s tenants? Are there particular groups of tenants we see emerging? Using Experian’s new Mosaic tool we are able to dig a little deeper…

Midlife Stopgap

This is a new group of tenants who can be described as maturing singles renting affordable homes on a short term basis often due to the end of a relationship or a change in employment necessitating a change in location. With a typical income of £20k-£29k they are usually in full time employment and are sharing their 2-3 bedroom Victorian/ Edwardian terrace with other people in a similar position. Although they are a very diverse group in terms of role, education and responsibilities they are likely to be tech savvy and moderate users of online services while their expenditure on holidays will be lower than average. Midlife Stopgap are most likely to be found in commuter towns like Crawley, Milton Keynes, Thurrock and Erdington.

Flying solo

Traditionally inner cities have been the hot spot for young, single professionals but as house prices soar in central areas of cities like London there is a growing trend that sees 18-25 year old singles at the start of their careers, choosing to get more for their money by moving to larger properties out in the suburbs that are more usually the haunt of families. Earning starter salaries of £15k - £19k they are also rejecting the classic house share to live by themselves or with a partner.

The priority for Flying Solos’ is short term financial security – having enough to enjoy their life today. They spend a lot of time online and are the most prolific users of social media outside university students. Top locations include satellite and market towns and small cities like Hatfield, Cambridge, Oxford, Guildford and Bury St Edmunds.

Changing priorities

Major trends like the diversification of renting means marketers need to re-evaluate what they think they know about certain categories of customer. With house prices still rising and mortgages becoming tougher to secure it is likely that we will see more new categories of tenant emerge over the next few years. Identifying them and understanding how this might impact their buying decisions is where Mosaic can help. The make-up of the UK population is subject to constant change and by staying ahead of the curve in terms of identifying what these changes are and how they impact behavior, marketers can ensure their products and services remain relevant.

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