More than half of UK homes will be rented

AFS Team·15 May 2014·4 min read
More than half of UK homes will be rented
For the first time in 60 years, more than half of the UK's homes will be rented by 2032 according to current housing trends.

The figures come from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association which says that the private rental sector grew to 18% from 14% of all households – the number of owner-occupiers dropped to 64% from 68%.

Demand for private rented accommodation is being fuelled by a drop in the availability of social housing, changes to the employment landscape and difficulties in obtaining a mortgage for owner occupation.

Demand for homes to rent will surge

In addition, the survey also points to rising immigration, growing numbers of students and increasing rates of separation between couples as helping to fuel demand.

Home ownership, the survey reveals, will become the preserve of older generations and the lack of new house building will also fuel demand from tenants and push up rents.

Peter Williams, a director of the IMLA, said: “The private rented sector is being fuelled by strong underlying demand and the sector will expand further an increase pressure on an overstretched housing stock.

UK needs a strategy to help landlords and tenants

He pointed out that there needed to be a strategy that served landlords and tenants as well as owner-occupiers to help the housing market cope with a growing population and this is likely to see increasing demand for planning restrictions for new homes to be relaxed.

The report’s findings have also been underlined by a survey by the Homeowners' Alliance which says that Britain is becoming a nation of renters with rocketing house prices blocking young people from entering the property market.

Bid to make letting agents fees transparent welcomed

News that the government is planning to make the fees charged by letting agents more transparent has been welcomed by a range of groups and associations including the Residential Landlords Association.

Under advertising standards authority rules, letting agents are required to detail their compulsory charges being made to tenants upfront in advertisements but the new plan is for all of their fees to be published on websites and in their offices.

Failure by any letting agent to display their fees will result in a stiff fine.

Richard Jones, the RLA’s policy director, said: “We have been calling for transparency and we welcome the decision to amend legislation. This will be good for landlords and tenants alike and we look forward to its successful implementation.”

The government has also stated that it will take a ‘common sense’ approach to the issue to avoid fees being pushed up for tenants to pay as a result of complying with the new law.