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12/07/2018

20% of England’s homes are for private rent

Words: Laura Edgar
Household survey / iStock-613765260

The government’s English Housing Survey suggests that the private rented sector accounted for 20 per cent of households in England in 2016/17.

Since 1996/97, the proportion of households in the private rented sector has doubled, with the overall size of the sector increasing from 2.1 million to 4.7 million households. The owner-occupied sectors represent 63 per cent of all households.

Growth mainly accelerated after 2006/07 with over two million additional households added to the sector. It has though, slowed in recent years, says the report.

With the exception of people aged 75 and over, the number of private renters has increased in the last 20 years across all age groups.

Of those in private rented accommodation, 84 per cent were satisfied with their current accommodation, with 68 per cent either very or fairly satisfied with their current tenure. The report notes that 60 per cent of private renters expect to buy a property “at some point in the future”.

On average, 34 per cent of private renters’ income, including housing benefit, is spent on rent.

In the private rented sector, 860,000 households moved from one privately rented home to another, while 149,000 new households were created. In 2016/17, there were 179,000 moves into the sector, with 80 per cent from owner occupation, while 266,000 moves were made out of the sector.

Social rent

The smallest tenure in England, the social rented sector, comprises 3.9 million homes – 17 per cent of all households.

The English Housing Survey of the social rented sector states that the size of the sector has not changed much in the past 10 years, but over the longer term has seen a decline.

In 2008/09, the sector accounted for 18 per cent of households with 9 per cent (2.0 million renting from housing associations and 9 per cent (1.9 million) renting from local authorities. In 2016/17, 10 per cent (2.4 million) rented from housing associations while 7 per cent (1.6 million) rented from local authorities.

Half of the social rented households had at least one member with a long-term illness or disability, compared with 29 per cent in owner-occupier homes and 23 per cent of private rented households.

The report finds that 75 per cent of social renters were in the two lowest income quintiles, compared with 43 per cent of private renters and 29 per cent of owner-occupiers.

In 2016/17 81 per cent of social renters were very or fairly satisfied with their accommodation.

On average, 28 per cent of social renters’ household income is spent on rent, including housing benefit, while 25 per cent were either currently in rent arrears or had been in arrears in the last year.

Of those in social rented accommodation, 30 per cent (1.2 million households) expect to buy a property in the future.

Quality

The survey also considers housing conditions. In 2016/17, 38 per cent of private renters lived in poor housing, meaning a property could have damp or mould, is non-decent or has substantial disrepair. The survey found that 24 per cent of owner-occupiers and 22 per cent of social renters lived in poor housing.

Almost half – 46 per cent – of social renters lived in deprived areas, while 11 per cent of owner-occupiers and 21 per cent of private renters lived in deprived areas.


The surveys can be found on the UK Government website:

English Housing Survey: Private rented sector, 2016-17 (pdf)

English Housing Survey: Social rented sector, 2016-17 (pdf)

English Housing Survey: Stock condition, 2016 (pdf)

English Housing Survey: Quality report 2016 to 2017 (pdf)

English Housing Survey: Energy Efficiency (pdf)


Image credit | iStock

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