74% of UK liveaboard boat owners have never owned a home

A survey by Promarine Finance has revealed that 74 per cent of liveaboard boat owners have previously never owned a home.

Of the liveaboard owners surveyed, 90 per cent admitted that the cost of living was a factor in choosing to live on their boat instead of a traditional flat or house, with 59 per cent of owners saying they intend to live this way ‘forever’. Just five per cent say they will seek traditional living in the future with the remainder keeping their options open.

The survey was conducted with Promarine’s customer database and issued via email, in April 2022. A total of 127 responses were given from liveaboard boat owners throughout the UK.

Those surveyed cited rent, energy bills and mental health as reasons for choosing to liveaboard. Respondents say they enjoy the peace and quiet, as well as the freedom that the lifestyle offers.

42 per cent say they’re happy to live on their new home as it is, 35 per cent are happy to refit or fit out the vessel themselves, and 21 per cent purchased a boat which was already refurbished.

The results of the survey are in addition to Promarine’s sales data which shows an increase of 65 per cent in the number of finance deals for liveaboard vessels between 2019 and the end of 2021 with 2022 already surpassing 2021 for the number of sales.

As of 23 May 2022, there were 36,949 people with boat licences for rivers and canals compared with 32,490 ten years ago in 2012. The Canal & River Trust states that surveys put the proportion of liveaboard vessels on the water at around 25 per cent – a rise from 15 percent in 2011 nationally.

Promarine Finance offers fixed-rate marine mortgages for all types of leisure vessels over periods of two to 10 years where the finance is secured against the vessel.

Stuart Austin, director of Promarine says: “The surge in demand for boat finance and particularly liveaboard vessels is showing no signs of slowing down since the pandemic began. There’s been a shift from those purchasing during the pandemic to now making the choice due to the cost of living and housing crisis, and the survey results show how stark those figures are. Buyers are being pushed to consider alternative and more cost-effective living arrangements rather than remain in their current situations of paying increasing rent and utility costs.”

Promarine also says customers are borrowing more with a higher loan to value compared to the same period in 2020, largely due to a new and younger demographic entering the market.

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content