Countywide letting agent Finders Keepers contributed to a special television programme on BBC 2 - The Money Programme - Property: The End of the Affair?

Director Frank Webster said: “The producer came to us for comment on the rental market and interesting case studies. We were able to help and It was good to see the programme cover the diverse Oxford rental market.”

In the programme presenter Max Flint visited the UK and Europe to “meet the people who are hanging on to the dream of home ownership and those who are convinced that long-term renting makes more financial sense.”

The programme featured shots of the dreaming spires, the Summertown office of Finders Keepers and an interview with local economics lecturer Ray Wright, who rents a penthouse apartment managed by Finders Keepers.

Mr Wright made a compelling personal and economic-based case for renting over buying, He said: “The maths to me are quite simple, For £39,000 a year, which would only get me a £450,000 mortgage, I live in a nice £900,000 apartment.

He added: “If people take out a repayment mortgage and, after 25 years, they have repaid all their capital, the gain is theirs and tax free which is good. Equally somebody renting might also have made investment gains over that period of time as well.”

Conversely, another Oxford-based couple who are renting said they would like to buy for long-term security.

Timing is everything, as Moneyweek magazine research, commissioned by the programme, set out to prove. By comparing the cost of renting/investing against homeowning during four periods with sharply differing results, homeowners came out better in some periods, while those renting would have been better off in other time periods.

Mr Webster said : “It was refreshing to see the programme show that renting can be a good choice in a financial sense and explore build-to-let for long-term steady growth, a view supported by many economists.

“Let us see if the latest review of the private rented sector due out soon has recommendations to Government on this.”