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‘In European cities renting is the preferred option’

Renting is becoming not only acceptable but preferable to buying for many Europeans living in cities, and for those seeking to rent the sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings are increasingly important, Clare Thomas, Partner, CMS, told The Real Estate Day.

A new CMS report shows that, ´in line with what we see happening in impact investing, people are really interested in recycling, in the energy efficiency and the sustainability of their homes,´ she said.

The CMS research, ´Urban being: the future of city living´, was based on the views of around 6,500 people, both residents and real estate professionals, in 6 key cities in Europe (London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Manchester and Glasgow). 

The objective was to discover the preferences of consumers when it comes to their living environment. 

The report  found that some things are valued by everyone, such as super fast internet access, but on others views vary markedly. ´There were some real differences,’ she said. ´We found for example that the RE sector overestimates the importance of good transport links, because in an increasingly mobile society it is no longer all about location, location, location´.

The report also highlights some quirky findings, Thomas said: ´For residents it is really important to be able to have pets in their home, a demand which is underestimated by the real estate sector. More predictably, leisure facilities are also very popular´.

Another key finding of the report is that what used to be referred to as ´generation rent´ has become a phenomenon that goes well beyond a narrow demographic group. More people of all ages now find renting not only acceptable but preferable.

This shift in attitude has led to growing investor interest in PRS. ´We are going to see unprecedented levels of interest and investment in all forms of rented accommodation in Europe´s leading cities,’ Thomas said. ´This will reshape the local housing markets and better reflect how people of all ages, from students to pensioners, want to live, work and play in our cities in the future´.

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