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The Changing Face of How we Live, Work and Play in Cities

What used to be referred to as ‘generation rent’ is now a phenomenon that goes well beyond a narrow demographic group, according to the latest research from law firm CMS, in its new report Urban Being – The Future of City Living.

The report states that this new generation of renters are not just students and millennials, but also workers of all ages, including retired people. The report cites research, conducted by FTI Consulting on behalf of CMS in July 2019, which surveyed 6,500 people living and working in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris, to uncover the preferences of consumers when it comes to their living environment. It also canvassed the view of over 200 real estate professionals and 11 in-depth interviews with investors, developers and operators active in the residential sector.

With 67% of respondents across all the cities either in debt or just breaking even each month, saving for a deposit has become more difficult than ever. The wealth accumulation of the baby boomer generation in the form of owned property benefiting from decades of house price inflation has led to the rise of intergenerational wealth inequality. UK homes today cost eight times the average earnings, (and over 13 times the average earnings in London), a ratio that has doubled since 1997.

Ciaran Carvalho, head of real estate at CMS UK, said: “Urbanisation, new lifestyles, different work patterns and increasing mobility are changing Europe's cities. We have explored how affordability and supply issues, coupled with shifting technological, economic and lifestyle factors, are shaping demand for rented residential solutions across generations and societal groups.

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