1.1 million families now renting privately - new figures
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Shelter responds to English Housing Survey stats
According to Shelter's analysis of the latest English Housing Survey stats, 1.1 million families are now renting their homes from a private landlord, nearly double the amount there were five years ago.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has welcomed the stats finding that private and social rented sectors are now equal in size.
Shelter's analysis of the stats reveal that:
•The East Midlands saw the fastest growth in private renting between 2008 and 2011, with a 44% increase in the number of households renting, closely followed by the North West with a 43% rise. London saw a further growth in private renting, finally reaching the milestone of 1 in 4 households now renting from a landlord.
•Home ownership has continued to decline from its 2005 peak. The number of privately rented households now stands at 3.6 million.
•Between 1991 and 2001, the percentage of people under 34 who owned a home dropped from 60% to 36%. At the same time, the percentage of the same group who rented privately grew from 18% to 46%.
•Almost a third of first-time-buyers are now aged over 35.
•The median incomes of private renters grew by 11.2% from 2008 to 2011. Homeowners’ median incomes grew 2.5% in the same period.
•Amongst owner occupier households, weekly mortgage payments were, on average, 19% of their gross weekly income. For private renters, weekly rent payments were on average 43% of their gross weekly income.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It’s common knowledge that renting is fast becoming a way of life for a whole generation of Britons locked out of the housing market, and today’s figures show that renters are growing in number in almost every part of England.
“But what we’re seeing now is that renting is becoming the ‘new normal’ for a much wider group of people, with over a million families now renting their home from a landlord.
"This means that increasing numbers of children are growing up stuck on a merry-go-round of home after home, without the stability their own parents enjoyed when they were young.
"Today’s figures show that private renters are ten times more likely than homeowners to have moved house in the last year.
“With these figures showing that almost a third of first-time-buyers are over 35, it’s no surprise that renters these days are an older and more affluent group, with average incomes rising faster than homeowners.
“But despite this, family budgets are quickly eaten up by rising rents. Many rents are now more expensive than mortgage repayments, with today’s figures showing that, on average, renters pay out almost £75 a month more than homeowners.
"According to these statistics, renters typically pay out over twice as much of their income in rent than homeowners spend on a mortgage.
“Renters in this country get a tough deal, struggling with expensive rents while living with the knowledge that they can lose their home at any time with just two months notice.
"Britain may call itself a ‘property-owning democracy’ but we can’t ignore the new reality of renting. It’s time that Government realised that renting is the only option for more and more families every year.”
Commenting on the findings Alan Ward, RLA Chairman, said: “The news that the private rented sector is now equal in size to the social rented sector demonstrates the ever-increasing importance of the sector in meeting the UK’s housing needs.
“Whilst the number of properties in the sector has increased by over a million in ten years, all the figures persistently show a chronic shortage of privately rented properties, denying tenants genuine choices over their housing needs, and serving only to drive up rents.
“With the Government’s review of investment in the sector and the Opposition’s private rented sector policy review both due to be published soon, Ministers and Shadow Ministers must ensure that reforming the way the sector is taxed is a priority to boost investment and growth in the sector to meet the demands of tenants.”