Data from the latest English Housing Survey underlines the growing trend in the UK towards renting property and suggests that the buy-to-let market has an important role to play in the future housing needs of the country.The key data, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, underlines that statistics for the 2015-16 period reflected an enormous rise in the number of people privately renting, compared to 2005-06. According to the report, there were 4.5 million private rental homes in the latest data, up from 2.4 million a decade earlier, representing a 47% increase.
The number of young people (aged 25 to 34 years-old) entering the private rental sector as tenants has doubled in the same timeframe.
Whilst many younger people want to buy their own home in the future (59% of those surveyed confirmed this), many feel that affordability is holding them back from realising their ambitions.
Andrew Turner, chief executive at Commercial Trust Limited (www.commercialtrust.co.uk) commented:
“This data clearly underlines the growing trend towards more private rental demand and that means there is likely to be an expanding market for prospective buy-to-let investors.
“The culture of renting is not new in the UK, but its growth in recent years would seem to be in a large part down to younger people not being able to afford the deposit for their first home buy.
“As a result, it is taking longer for many young people to save up to buy and these people are increasingly turning to the private rental sector.
“This circle shows no signs of breaking any time soon, creating opportunity for buy-to-let landlords.”
To add further pressure to the housing market, a recent Civitas report has forecast that the UK’s population is set to expand by 500,000 a year, resulting in an extra 9.7 million people living in the UK by 2039.
Mr Turner continued, “Population growth will of course add further strain to the housing market and the onus could fall increasingly on the private rental sector to help accommodate more people.
“Certainly the findings of the Civitas report suggest that the current situation of high demand for rental properties is unlikely to change significantly with the arrival of a larger population.