What’s Behind the Rise in UK Renters?

By | 27 November, 2017

Every year the UK Government conducts and publishes its English Housing Survey. It’s filled with a variety of figures and information showing exactly what is going on across the UK. In detail, it shows the number of home-owner occupiers, the number of renters and how that’s shared between the social and private sector.

The survey data shows a trend of more renters while the pool of home-owner occupiers, shrinks. To be sure, 14.3 million – or 63% – of the UK’s 22.8 million households, own the home the live in. But, while it’s more than half, it’s also the lowest proportion since 1985. It also continues the steady decline from 2003, when owner-occupiers accounted for 71%.

The Rise of the Renters

While home-owner occupier rates have fallen, albeit slowly, the number of households who rent, has risen. Taking a look at social renters versus those renting privately. The private rented sector has risen to 20% in 2016 from 16% in 2008. For social enters, there’s a marginal decline from 17.3% in 2008 to 17% in 2016.

It’s also likely that this trend will likely continue for the next few years, at least. And, though the reason for more renters and fewer owner-occupiers might seem obvious, it isn’t that simple.

Why Renters, Rent

One clear reason many renters aren’t home-owners, is because the cost of buying a property is out of reach. Home-ownership is the long-standing UK property culture. And, many surveys concur that people still consider home-ownership a future ambition.

Yet, not all renters want to own their own home, not by a long shot. The reasons that many renters are happy being a tenant and not a home-owner, are generally quite healthy. They include:

• Newcomers to the country or area and might not stay long.
• Want to experience a new area before making the significant financial commitment buying a home entails.
• Work-related reasons – perhaps work means they move around the country – or even the word – a lot, so buying doesn’t make sense.
• They don’t want the responsibility that comes with home-ownership.
• Planning to save and buy the house of their dreams and never buy or sell again.
• Can’t find the right county/city/town/village/property.

A Better Rental Policy Would Be Beneficial

There are well heralded plans in place to increase the rate of home-building across the UK. But the trend of fewer home-owners and more UK renters won’t reverse overnight. If ever. That means the Government needs to work on policies that work for the rental market – tenants and landlords.

Right now, there seem to be many new and incoming punitive measures for private sector landlords. They are there to protect tenants. Of course, protecting tenants from unfair treatment and unscrupulous landlords is necessary. But, financial punishment of private landlords shouldn’t feature. Due to those new rules, many landlords will exit the market, or raise rents in response.

A more joined-up approach to a rental policy that’s fair for all is what’s required and right now, that’s not something that appears to be on the cards.

If you’re unhappy with the current situation you’re in but don’t want to sell your portfolio, then get in touch with Incrent. We can help make you a happy landlord again. Let us manage your property and keep up with all the legalities. All while you’re guaranteed to receive your rent.


Alessio Tondo & Fabio Tarantino
Two ordinary guys who turned their passion into a business.
Co-Founded INCRENT
Rent 2 Rent specialists, London
Focused on how to Increase Your Rental Income.

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