4.4 million households rent in the private sector

English Housing Survey Headline Report 2013-14 was published in February 2015:

What it had to say about the increase in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and about the 25 to 34 age range is significant.

The private rented sector remained larger than the social rented sector.

RentingIn 2013-14, 19% (4.4 million) of households were renting privately, up from 18% in 2012-13 and 11% in 2003.

The proportion of households renting social housing remained steady at 17% (3.9 million).

Young households aged 25-34 were more likely to be renting privately than buying their own home.

In 2013-14 almost half (48%) of all households aged 25-34 rented privately, up from 45% in 2012-13.The proportion in this age group living in the private rented sector has more than doubled from 21% in 2003-04. Over the same 10 years, owner occupation in this age group dropped from 59% to 36%.

Average weekly private rents in London were consistently higher than outside of London from 2008-09 to 2013-14.

In 2013-14, average weekly private rents were £281 in London and £145 outside of London. There was a smaller difference between average weekly social rents in London (£125) and outside London (£87).

The number of non-decent homes in England continued to decline. In 2013, 4.8 million dwellings (21%) failed to meet the decent homes standard, a reduction of 2.9 million homes since 2006, when around a third (35%) of homes failed to meet the decent home standard.

Damp problems were more likely to be found in private rented dwellings than social rented or owner occupied dwellings. In 2013 about a million (999,000) homes (4%) had problems with damp, compared with 2.6 million (13%) homes in 1996. Some 8% of private rented dwellings had some type of damp problem, compared with 5% of social rented dwellings, and 3% of owner occupied dwellings, although private rented dwellings tended to be older properties more prone to damp problems.

graph increase In 2013-14, the private rented sector accounted for 4.4 million or 19% of households. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the proportion of private sector households stayed steady at around 10%. However, the sector has undergone sharp growth since then and has doubled in size since 2002, driven by a number of factors.

In the late 1990s rent controls were removed, and assured shorthold tenancies became the standard, giving greater flexibility in the length of tenancies. Lenders also introduced the buy-to-let mortgage at around the same time. 

In London, the proportion of households in the private rented sector increased from 14% to 30% between 2003-04 and 2013-14, Figure 1.2. Over the same period, the proportion of households in London that were owner occupied, but buying with a mortgage declined from 39% to 27%. In London, the private rented sector became as large as the mortgagor sector in 2013-14.

The whole document can be read HERE