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Number of over-55s renting doubled in a decade

Written by: Lana Clements
The number of middle-age renters has surged over the past decade, research reveals.  

Between 2011 and 2021, the number of privately renting tenants aged 55 to 64 more than doubled, according to Paragon Bank. Renters aged between 45 and 54 increased by half.

The number of households aged 65 and over also hit 382,000 in 2021, up 38% on a decade before.

At the same time, the number of 16 to 24 year-old households in the private rented sector declined 3.7%, while those aged between 25 and 34 increased by 6% to 1.37 million.

Overall, households aged 35 or over living in rented homes totalled 2.5 million, compared to 1.9 million aged 34 or below, challenging the stereotype that the private rented sector is primarily a tenure for younger tenants.

At the same time, people are also living in their rented home for longer. There has been a 132% increase in the number of households who have lived in their home for between five and 10 years over the past decade, with a 115% increase in those living in a rented home for between 10 and 20 years.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank managing director of mortgages, said: “The private rented sector has evolved over the past decade and has seen strong growth in the number of middle-aged and later life tenants. The perception of rented property as being the preserve of the young is outdated.

“There could be a number of reasons for the growth in older tenants. We are seeing a greater number of people living in rented accommodation for life, plus people are releasing the equity in their homes and opting to rent instead. The growth of single person households is also driving some of the growth.”

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