housing survey tenants renting

19 Dec 2022

Over the last decade, the proportion of people aged 24 to 64 living in their own home has fallen and the proportion renting privately has risen according to a new analysis.

Currently 19 per cent of households rent privately, 35 per cent own outright, and 30 per cent have a mortgage.

On average, mortgaged households spent 22 per cent of their household income on mortgage payments in 2021/22, whereas – excluding housing support – private tenants paid 38 per cent on rent.

In 2021-22 there were around 852,000 first-time buyers, down 100,000 in a year. Their average age was 34.

All this data comes from the Department for Levelling up, Communities and Housing which has just published the English Housing Survey for 2021/22. 

In the analysis of the data by business consultancy Hargreaves Lansdown, senior finance analyst Sarah Coles says: “For anyone who owns their own home, and isn’t moving up the ladder, years of runaway house prices have made them feel richer and more secure. However, for those who are struggling to buy their first home, it has had precisely the opposite effect. More people are renting later in life, which comes at a horrible cost, and for those who make the leap into home ownership, it also raises new risks.”

She says the proportion of people renting privately doubled during the 2000s, and while it has levelled off at around a fifth of households or 29 per cent in London, we’re seeing people renting later and later in life. 

“Over the last decade, the proportion of people aged 24 to 64 living in their own home has fallen and the proportion renting privately has risen. The figures are highest among 24 to 45-year-olds, where those who live in their own home has fallen from 64 to 59 per cent and private renters have risen from 20 to 25 per cent.”

Coles says that her analysis proves that in 2021/22 renting was far more expensive than paying the mortgage. 

At that stage – before the glut of recent interest rate rises – the average mortgage cost £154 a week, while the average rent was £173. On average, mortgagors spent 22 per cent of their household income on mortgage payments, whereas rent payments, excluding housing support, was 38 per cent for private renters.

Coles continues: “[Tenants] also suffer the consequences of living in lower quality property. While overall 14 per cent of homes don’t meet the Decent Homes Standard, this rises to 23 per cent in the private rented sector. It has an impact on energy efficiency too, because those in rented property are likely to be in less efficient, and colder homes.”

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