Bitcoin battle: why some millennials choose cryptocurrency over property

Millennials are still choosing to remain in Generation Rent for longer while putting their cash elsewhere, with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency investments leading the way.

Three quarters of those aged 21-35 in a poll by build-to-rent developer Get Living said that millennials’ money was better off being put towards alternative investments rather than becoming first-time buyers, while a further 45% said they were better off staying put in the private rented sector (PRS) for now.

Around a fifth (21%) said Bitcoin was a better investment than property, and the housing market was seen as “high risk” by 57% of the 3,000 young people surveyed.

“For millennials the soaring performance of Bitcoin – followed by an almost equally profound correction – holds more intrigue than the prospect of steady growth in house prices,” the report said.

Why millennials rent rather than buy

Part of the problem with buying a property, it seems, is that first-time buyers did not factor in all the costs involved, with 57% complaining that they had underestimated all the additional outgoings involved in owning a home, while 37% said they believed their properties had lost value over the past year.

Surprisingly, despite the recent shocking headlines that renters can spend as much as £1m more than homeowners over a lifetime, 45% of respondents said that their monthly expenditure was cheaper when they were renting compared to once they’d bought a property, and almost half (49%) said they now lived in a less convenient location than they had when they were tenants.

New “subscription” lifestyle

According to Neil Young, chief executive of Get Living, the results offer an insight into a “generation in the vanguard of the new on-demand subscription society” where it’s increasingly common to rent, rather than buy. He compares it to the concept of subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify and Uber, as people sign up on a monthly basis to a flexible, renting lifestyle rather than make long-term ownership commitments.

“What we’ve found in this report is that ‘generation rent’ are cautious when it comes to property investment, are optimistic for the future and value the flexibility that renting offers. These shifts can’t be ignored.”

He added: “It’s time the property sector grew up too and changes the way homes are built, managed and experienced. For us that means we need to continue to make renting a simpler, fairer and positive experience – not just in London but across the UK.”

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