In 2015, owning their second home is a dream for just 35% of Europeans (against 65% who prefer to borrow or rent this type of property). In such a context, it is hardly surprising that the property market for second homes should have become so difficult. Even among the highest-income Europeans, the preference for rental or borrowing represents a large majority (61%). The French (76%) and Germans (73%) are the keenest on this solution. This trend concerns not only the young, but also older people, of whom a majority rent or borrow their holiday homes (62% of 55s and over).
Although this preference for borrowing or rental is less massive in the 6 other areas that were tested, the levels observed in them do nonetheless show a transformation in the relationship Europeans have with objects, with their use now taking increasing precedence over ownership.
Those items whose use tends to be only occasional and which tend in get in the way the rest of the time are also concerned by this trend among Europeans: 36% of them also declare that they prefer to borrow or hire the automobile accessories they need (roof boxes, bike carriers, child seats...), 34% gardening equipment (lawn mowers, cultivators...) and 26% DIY equipment (sanding machines, drills...).
Cultural goods (books, CDs, DVDs...) come next, with 23% of Europeans declaring that they now prefer to borrow or rent them rather than owning them, a proportion that varies little with the age of respondents, but more according to their income levels: those Europeans with the most modest revenues are those with the strongest tendency to borrow or rent.
The last two bastions of ownership remain the main residence (87% of Europeans prefer to own it, against just 13% rent or borrow it) and car (89% prefer to own it, against 11%). It is in Sweden that this preference for borrowing or rental of these two types of good sis the most widespread: 24% of Swedes now prefer to rent or borrow their main home and 19% their car. It is in France and Italy that people feel most strongly attached to their own private car (92% of the French and Italians prefer to own it), and in Poland to buying their main residence (95% of Poles prefer ownership).
Taking all the goods that were tested, on average it is in Spain and Sweden that the preference for renting or borrowing is the strongest, and in Poland and the United Kingdom that people remain the most strongly attached to ownership.
With an average of 2.1 types of goods out of 7 that Europeans prefer to borrow or rent, individual ownership does still have a great future, although new practices are emerging, including second-hand purchases.
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