To Rent Or To Buy? That Is The Davies & Davies Question

If property be the food of love, read on…

Friends, North Londoners, renters, lend us your ears. For we have quite the conundrum to tackle together. Perched precariously atop your non official roof terrace, admiring the quintessential rooftops of inner North London (and, briefly, the state of your star-crossed lover), your mind wanders to the age-old quandary: to rent or to buy?

Weighing up the benefits

That is the question underlying your Rightmove search history anyway. Though the course of real estate never did run smooth, we have some mis-en-scene to assist you in weighing up the benefits of renting over buying your dream abode. With mortgage rates rising and rental costs catching up, are we such stuff as mortgages are made on or is it the renter who shall bear the charmed life? Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…

Illustration of a man stood infront of two signs reading 'sales' and 'rentals'

Neither a borrower nor lender be

In fair North London, where we lay our scene, these words may ring out throughout the tree-lined streets of rented and sold abodes alike. But do they apply to you when thinking about whether to rent to or buy? Mortgage rates have slithered snake-like upwards from the start of 2022, before leaping ever higher since last October.

A silver lining

Nevertheless, renters may also feel the pinch as a shortfall in available rentals versus renters has raised monthly costs skyward by 12% last year. Pah and pish! What a pickle. There is a silver lining for potential buyers however, for while the average fixed rate for someone with a 5% deposit has risen over 2% in the last year, house inflation has calmed a little and prices are set to fall over the next two years. Alas, we shall see if this good fortune comes to be…

Shall I compare thee to a security deposit?

The upfront costs of purchasing a thatch-topped, mock Tudor two-bed nowadays far outweigh the costs of renting said residence. Why yes, there is the dreaded security deposit for renters to contend with, but that simply withers and pales in comparison to the heady heights of mortgage deposits. Even at 5%, you’ll see yourself saving an average of £58,459 with house prices proudly languishing at the £1,169,188 mark in the middle of the North London market – according to Foxtons. At the lowest end of the scale, for a £100k house, you’d still be saving up a minimum 5% deposit of £5,000. That’s not taking into account stamp duty if you’re no longer a first time buyer, an average cost of £2,198 for a survey, then the all-important removal fees and dreaded solicitor costs. Heigh, ho!

Savings, savings, whereforeart thou savings?

Capped now at five weeks rent, a rental deposit could seem like a much more attractive option as one scrolls through one’s Monzo history with little cheer when weighing up your options on whether to rent or to buy. What’s more, your monthly outgoings will still remain cheaper while renting due to that snake-esque rise in mortgage costs from last Autumn. In London as a whole, you would save on average £550* a month by renting instead of buying a house, and £252* pretty pounds per month by renting instead of buying a flat. How, now, what a riddle for thine prospective purchasers!

*calculated against 10% mortgage deposit

Photo of a woman putting coins into a piggy bank

All that glisters is not gold

When considering whether to rent or to buy, do not let us fool you into thinking all is lost for the ever-determined buyers among us. Nay, we strongly believe in the long term benefits for those strong-willed, heady individuals with a garden apartment in their hearts and a survey in their hands. Those who dare to project the big picture across crumbling plaster can imagine a world in which their heavy upfront costs have paid off, their payments reduced and monthly outgoings are – at long last – less than that of a renter equivalent.

Finally mortgage-free?

Sellers have made record gross profits of over £100k in 2022 after owning their house for the last 20 years according to Hamptons. While those figures are slightly different in London boroughs and for flat sales, it’s still comforting to know you are growing your equity and can either hop up that property ladder or one day become footloose and mortgage-free. Finally, they cry! No longer a gooseberry fool am I! Bring ale and pie, for we shall celebrate our steadfastness in the wake of climbing interest rates and let us dance upon the renter’s demise. Or something to that effect.

To thine own self be true

Though the long game may beckon for those with a deeper pocket, our studies conclude that currently you may well be better off renting – with two hallowed caveats.

Our fair Director, Lord Mark of Davies, suggests that renting will give you more flexibility and disposable cash to play with, however, it’s about being smart with  your money. Hoist that extra cash into an investment that will provide better returns than property at the moment in order to grow your wealth.


Some people may struggle with such disciplined saving each month, and that disposable cash could end up sitting in a current account and be slowly whittled away. If this is you, then getting a mortgage to force you to invest in your future could be the best bet.

Please note that all content contained within our website is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. All Content on this site is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. We advise seeking professional advice from a legal, financial, or other professional.

Contact us: – Lettings Director (contact for lettings and property management) – Sales Director (contact for sales, new homes and chartered surveying)

020 3820 2492

Davies & Davies Estate Agents, 85 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EG

Article & images by Barefaced Studios

You might also want to read other useful blog articles by clicking here.

24 August 2023
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85 Stroud Green Road

Finsbury Park

London, N4 3EG

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Sat: 1000 – 1600
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