In the latest update of the English Housing Survey, it was estimated that there were 22.6 million households in England in 2013-14. Owner occupiers accounted for 63% of households (14.3 million). 19% of households (4.4 million) were privately rented, continuing to stretch its lead over the social sector, which remained steady at 17% (3.9 million). The private rented sector comprised just 11% of households in 2003.
Households aged 25-34 are more likely to be renting privately than buying their own home, with this age group doubling its presence in the private rented sector over the last decade.
With so many people entering the private rented sector, increasing the supply of homes is obviously crucial. The British Property Federation (BPF) believes the solution is an institutionally-funded build-to-let sector.
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the BPF, said: “Not only does [build-to-let] offer steady and attractive yields for institutional investors, but it will also provide high-quality, much-needed accommodation for those who are unable to step on to the housing ladder.”
They praised the government for encouraging the development of a build-to-let sector over the last few years, but hastened to add that, whatever the outcome in May, the future government will have to maintain the momentum if a deepening of the housing crisis is to be averted.