Number of households renting privately hits 3.4 million

The number of households renting privately in England has risen from 2.4 million in 2005-06 to 3.4 million in 2009-10, the Communities and Local Government’s English Housing Report shows.

Nigel Terrington, chief executive of Paragon, says the data vindicates his firm’s long-held view that the private rental sector is a growing and fundamental component of the UK housing market.

He says: “The CLG’s figures highlight the growing number of people relying on the private rented sector to provide their housing needs.

“Demand for privately rented property is at an unprecedented level and far outweighs supply.

“The resulting rental inflation is leading to people, including the most vulnerable households, being priced out of the sector at a time when the supply of social housing is in decline.”

Terrington believes buy-to-let mortgage finance needs to be able to meet this demand.

“With Capital Economics estimating that the private rented sector will be home to nearly one in five households by 2015, it is crucial that adequate levels of buy-to-let mortgage finance are available to enable landlords to expand the number of properties in the PRS.”

The government data also reveals the private rental sector now accounts for 15.6% of all households in England, which is up from 14.2% in 2008-09 and 11.7% in 2005-06.