Signing a tenancy agreement and therefore developing a landlord-tenancy relationship is seen as a "practical"move by young people, according to DTZ Residential chairman Peter Braithwaite.

He suggested that, in contrast, homeownership is "an aspiration"for many of the younger generation.

With the economy struggling and many people out of work, mortgages are unaffordable for a large percentage of the UK population, the expert added.

Indeed, Hometrack recently stated that the average price of home in May was £155,600, while Halifax said the average house was worth even more during the same month.

Commenting on whether there will be a shift in people's attitudes to rental property, whereby it becomes more popular than homeownership, Mr Braithwaite said that now would be the time - if it was ever to happen at all.

"The real change will come when renting is seen as relatively long-term ownership in terms of a five or a ten-year lease, where rentals become accepted as the norm for a larger part of the population,"he explained.

Written by Claire Doyle

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