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Number of households renting rises 1.7 million in 10 years

Written by: Antonia Di Lorenzo
The number of households in the UK private rented sector has grown significantly over the past decade, with an increase of 1.7m, official data has revealed.

In the private rented sector, the number of households jumped to 4.5m in 2017, compared to 2.8m in 2007, according to the latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The report found that the number of households rose by 7% to 27.2m in 2017 from 25.6m in 2007.

Over this period, the number of owner-occupier households remained broadly consistent at 17.7m households.

However, households owned outright increased from 7.9m to 9.4m, while households buying with a mortgage fell from 9.8m to 8.3m.

The number of social rented households decreased by 200,000 households to 4.5m.

Renters getting older

The report found that younger people are more likely to rent privately, with those in the 25 to 34 years age group representing the largest group in 2017. They accounted for 35% of the market.

Between 2007 and 2017, the proportion of renters aged 45 to 54 increased from 11 to 16%, an estimated increase of 384,000 households.

On the other hand, those aged 16 to 24 dropped from 17 to 12% of all renters.

In 2017, around 35% of one-adult households with children were in the private rented sector, compared with 18% in 2007.

For households without children, lone-living males saw a large rental increase. In 2007, 16% were in the private rented sector compared with 27% last year.

In 2017, 62% of households in the private rented sector in the UK had spent under three years in the same accommodation and only 4% had been in the same residence for 20 years or longer.

Northern Ireland has the newest private rented housing stock, with 38% built after 1980, while Wales had the oldest, with 43% built pre-1919.

Buy-to-let changes

Kate Davies, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), said the recent period of subdued rental price increases may be disguising the true effect of various tax and regulatory changes imposed since mid-2015.

She said these measures were continuing to erode the buy-to-let sector, and in turn the whole private rental sector.

Davies added: “We may be approaching a watershed, as landlords will only be starting to feel the adverse effects of income tax changes when these are reflected in their tax bills for the first time this month.

“This continued erosion in buy-to-let is visible in the reduction in investment in rental property, with net investment in buy-to-let collapsing by 80% over just two years.”

She added that it is no coincidence that, despite a growing contribution from build to rent, 2017 brought an abrupt reversal to 16 years of uninterrupted growth in the stock of private rental dwellings.

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