Underpinning growth

The buy-to-let market is securely underpinned by an expanding private rented sector, writes Harriet Williams.

Research from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister shows there are 12% more households in the private rented sector in 2002 compared to ten years ago.

Now, two million of England&#39s 20.6m households rent privately. There are 14.5m households in owner occupation, while 4.1m households rent in the social sector.

The survey also shows four out of ten private renters live in flats. Only 8% live in detached houses compared to 29% of owners.

Over one third of private renters moved during the previous year, meaning that landlords must regularly find new tenants to cover their mortgage.

Average private rent in 2001-02 is £103 a week. Within this, assured shorthold rents averaged £114 a week.