First time buyers choose to rent

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

The decline of the number of first time buyers has made the rental option more attractive, but people looking for homes to let are limited by affordability, say estate agents.

Agents who were polled for the FNB Residential Rental Barometer said only 59percent of rental properties in their books were snapped up in less than a month, compared to the 75percent take up recorded in the first quarter of the year - a 16percent decline in activity.

But, compared to owning your own home and paying off a new mortgage loan and having to contend with maintenance costs and facing the risk of the decline in house prices, renting still seemed to be the better option for some consumers, said FNB.

FNB Home Loans property strategist John Loos, said the index confirmed the almost disappearance of first-time buyers, who were either choosing to stay with their parents longer, or were already absorbed in the rental market waiting for a favourable buyer market.

"Although landlords want to push up their rentals - because of increased demand, tenants also have affordability and inflationary pressures that may limit their ability to meet higher monthly rentals," said Loos.