As the UK’s millennials approach their prime spending years, the impact of their personal priorities is being seen across the economy. Their preference for experiences and lifestyle over possessions, including their firm position as part of ‘generation rent’ is creating a significant shift in the country’s housing sector. The first wave of this change is currently being seen across London, with the rest of the UK tipped to follow in the capital’s footsteps over the coming years.
According to the NatWest Millennials Home Buying Survey, 47 per cent of millennials feel that they are in generation rent and 78 per cent believe that the UK’s wider economic conditions have negatively affected their chances of becoming home owners.
However, rather than feeling despondent about their lack of home ownership prospects, many millennials are turning the situation to their advantage and instead demanding more from their rental accommodation.
Here are five ways that millennials are reshaping the UK housing sector:
1. Social spacesIn the US the trend has seen urban millennials seeking out smaller and more affordable private space, which is offset by large, shared social spaces.
The trend has quickly leapt across the Atlantic and caught on in London, as exemplified by the capital’s brand new lifestyle-focused rental operator, Tipi.
The brand new one, two and three bedroom apartments within Tipi’s first two buildings, Montana and Dakota, are complemented by two spacious shared lounges and an outdoor terrace area, in addition to the development’s acre of gardens. Residents can relax in their own high spec, beautifully furnished apartments, or head to the lounges for company while they play a game of pool, watch Sky Sports or surf the net and make use of the freely available superfast 100 Mb/s broadband.
In January 2016 figures from Statista highlight the importance of socialising to millennials. They show that 51 per cent stated that socialising was where their remaining disposable income was most likely to be spent. By providing in-house social areas, Tipi has helped to cut the cost of meeting this need to socialise for its residents. Offering social spaces with Sky Sports and a pool table together with furnished decking and an acre of private gardens has been a key attraction to our new customers.
2. Flexible contracts
Michael Allen, Head of PRS at Tipi, comments,
“Millennials’ spending power is huge and they are bringing a new dynamic to the private rented sector. As a group they want stability but also flexibility, so Tipi provides them with a long-term landlord that they can trust but with flexible contract terms. They can upsize and downsize with minimal hassle incurring no additional fees – and there are no agency fees to pay when it comes to taking up a contract as Tipi are not a lettings agency; we own, manage and lease our own apartments.”
3. Community focusMillennials also want to be part of a community.
At Tipi it’s not just the social spaces within the buildings that facilitate this. Tenants can also enjoy the vast array of services, clubs and activities available at Wembley Park, the home of Tipi.
The author, Micah Solomon observes this need for being part of a community in his book, ‘Your Customer Is The Star: How To Make Boomers, Millennials, And Everyone Else Love Your Business.’ He notes that millennials are more likely to shop and dine in groups than previous generations, making Tipi, which has London Designer Outlet with 50 high street shops and 20 restaurants and cafes just a stone’s throw away, the perfect base. Millennials are also more likely to travel on holiday in groups and with Heathrow and London City airports reachable in 45 minutes (and Gatwick in 65) from Wembley Park, this is an added attraction.
4. Love of technology
Millennials are also characterised by their fondness for using technology. They avoid human contact were self-service is a viable option, though paradoxically demand authentic, personalised customer service in other areas. This is also shaping services within the housing sector.
At Tipi, the My Tipi portal can be used to do everything from paying rent to arranging domestic cleaning and laundry services. At the same time, there’s the friendly Tipi team on site to provide true, personalised customer service whenever required not to mention the 24 hour concierge. It’s the perfect blend.
5. Keeping in shape
Tipi is also set to offer customers an on-site gym and cinema room, both of which are due to open later this year. Trainfitness recently surveyed 2,000 individuals regarding their gym habits, finding that 34.7 per cent of those aged 18-34 currently have a gym membership. Significantly, 42.5 per cent confessed that it was the cost that prevented them from joining, hence the value that Tipi has placed on including a gym that all residents are welcome to use for free.
Trainfitness also found that 11.7 per cent of 18-34 year olds haven’t joined the gym as it is too far away, while 26.7 per cent reported being demotivated by the weather and 20.1 per cent by dark nights – all problems that an on-site gym is perfectly placed to resolve.
Just as it makes socialising and exercising more convenient, so too does Tipi support millennials’ needs in other ways. There are no agency fees for those who take up tenancies there. 40 Mb/s broadband is available as standard in every apartment and is included in the rent, as are most bills. This reduction in life admin is most certainly in tune with millennials’ requirements.
As this new generation gets ready for their prime spending years, it is hotel-inspired rental offerings such as Tipi that blend service with experience that are set to provide millennials with the urban lifestyle they are seeking.
Apartments at Tipi are priced from £1,650 pcm including broadband and utility bills, with no agency fees to pay.