The private rented sector continues to grow, with 4.5 million households and almost half of young people now renting their homes.
New figures for 2015/16 released in the English Housing Survey show 2.5 million more households are now privately renting in comparison with 2000, while the proportion of those doing so has doubled since the 1980s and 1990s.
Some 46 per cent of people aged between 25 and 34 were also found to be in the private rented sector, up from just 24 per cent in 2000. However, it is not only young people who are more likely to be renting, with the study also revealing the proportion of families with dependent children in the sector has risen from 30 per cent in 2005/06 to 36 per cent.
Allison Thompson, managing director at national estate agents Leaders, said: “The private rented sector continues to play a crucial role in the UK’s housing market, providing millions of people with a home and, in most cases, a flexible and affordable way of living that suits their needs.
“It is often wrongly assumed that renters cannot afford to buy, but in fact our research shows many people find renting better meets their requirements, whether these revolve around work, proximity to a certain school or social reasons.
“The latest data reveals some 787,000 moves within the private rented sector took place in 2015/16, while 196,000 brand new households were created. These figures underline the strength of the sector and I believe its importance will only continue to grow in the coming years.”
Renting a home can also be a realistic short-term solution for those looking to buy, with 172,000 households moving out of the private rented sector and into owner-occupied accommodation in the year in question.
“As the number of households in the private rented sector continues to grow, it is worth considering the impact on the buy-to-let market. With high tenant demand assured in most parts of the country, landlords can invest with confidence that their property will be let to a quality tenant and experience only minimal voids.”
For more information on letting or renting a property contact your local Leaders branch or visit www.leaders.co.uk