Number of renters 'at 27-year high'

by Daniel Jones

The number of people who are renting their home in the UK is now higher than at any time since 1987, it has been revealed.

Graham Wilson, managing director of DDM Residential, has written a piece for the Scunthorpe Telegraph in which he explained that a 27-year high has been reached in the rental market, while the number of people living in privately rented properties is higher than the total relying on council occupation for the first time since World War II.

Home ownership is said to have fallen across the country, from a high of 71 per cent in 2003 to a current level of 65.2 per cent, according to government figures. This is forcing more people to take up tenancies, as they either don't have the money to own property or simply don't want to.

The number of people living in private rented homes has almost doubled over the last decade. A total of 2.2 million in 2002 is now close to hitting 3.9 million.

It also appears that the younger generation are dominating the private rented market, with half of the individuals in this sector found to be under 34. There has also been a rise in the proportion of private tenants claiming housing benefit in the last five years, from 19 per cent to 25 per cent.

A number of factors have come together to drive growth in the private rented market, including the removal of rent controls in the 1990s, the introduction of buy-to-let mortgages and the increase in assured shorthold tenancies.

Of course, a rise in tenants and people looking for somewhere to rent is good news for landlords, who could find that now is a good time to expand their property portfolios.

Mr Wilson reminded people that while it's easy to read too much into house prices and purchases, regional trends should be considered before making any decisions.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801705439-ADNFCR

Published on: March 21, 2014

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