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Whilst recent figures back up the long-term trend in the UK for the rental market to transition into the homeowner market (75% of renters would consider buying a property) there is now a significant factor in decision making – commute time.

A new study has found that the majority of those looking to purchase would not do so if it significantly lengthens their commutes to work.

Landbay surveyed 2,000 private rental tenants across the whole of the UK and revealed that if the commute time of a new purchase was more than 17 minutes, on average, than their current travel time, then they would no longer consider switching to homeowners.

The study also showed that a quarter of all renters in the UK use public transport to commute to work, with a further large proportion walking or using bikes. This significantly increases in London where the average public transport use is 70%.

In fact, across the UK the average time in takes for renters in the private market is just 30 minutes. The longest commute is found in London, where tenants take 40 minutes door to door. The shortest is in the North East at 21 minutes.

The research has also found that moving out to the wider city areas, or rural locations is not a priority for private renters. In fact, just 6% of those surveyed are impartial to the length of commute if they were to buy. Furthermore only 10% would move if the commute was increased by 30 minutes, meaning 90% of private rental tenants would only buy if the property was in the local vicinity to work.

This also points to the change in market that has seen more and more demand for city centre living across the UK, and a move away from relocating to the countryside.

“The assumption that buying a home is the be-all and end-all for renters is an outdated one,” said John Goodall, CEO of Landbay.

“People want their home to be flexible and appropriate to their lifestyle, which in a world of 24/7 working and shorter stints in each job means that renting is a preference, not a second choice. For aspiring landlords this research underlines the importance of buying in the right location. Being within easy distance of major employment hubs is something that should always be considered in the search for a buy-to-let property.”

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