Saturday, 01 October 2016

Private rents 'unaffordable' in most of country

Average rents in the private sector are unaffordable for ordinary working families in more than half of local authorities in England, research shows.

The housing and homelessness charity Shelter released findings from its rent watch which showed that in the majority of councils, typical rents from private landlords were over a third of average take-home pay.

Rural areas are among the worst hit with findings showing that it is now more affordable to rent in Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham that it is to rent in north Devon, north Dorset or Herefordshire.

London boroughs were the most expensive, with the average rent for a two bedroom home at £1,360 – almost two and a half times the average in the rest of the country (£568).

The least affordable local authority area outside London is Oxford, where typical rents account for 55 per cent of average earnings.

Shelter is calling on the government to take urgent action to stabilise the private rental market and develop policies to bring rents in line with average earnings.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘With huge differences in affordability across the country, there are now worrying signs that families are likely to be displaced by our out-of-control rental market.

‘Over recent years we have seen more and more people forced into renting, as high house prices and a lack of social housing have made it the only option for thousands of ordinary families.  

‘What we’re seeing now is that renting is no longer the easy, cheap alternative to home ownership.

‘We have become depressingly familiar with first time buyers being priced out of the housing market, but the impact of unaffordable rents is more dramatic.

‘With no cheaper alternative, ordinary people are forced to cut their spending on essentials like food and heating, or uproot and move away from jobs, schools and families.

‘With rural areas suffering just as much as cities - or in many cases, even less affordable - it’s no longer enough to encourage people to move out of crowded urban areas.

‘Government must urgently consider how private renting can become a stable, affordable option for families, and not a heavy financial burden that makes parents choose between buying food for their children and paying the rent.

‘This should be the wake-up call needed to finally take action to address our renting crisis.’


Readers' comments (81)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • Private rents rise 2.3%

    30 September 2016

    Private rents rose 2.3% across Britain over the past year, as the pace of rental inflation eased off in the capital.

  • Most planning applications approved since recession

    15 September 2016

    Councils received and approved the highest number of planning applications since the recession in 2008, when applications dropped off sharply, according to the latest figures.

  • PRS rents rise by 2.6%

    6 June 2016

    Rental prices in the private sector rose by 2.6% in the year to April, according to the latest official figures.

  • Starter Homes 'unaffordable for those in need'

    17 February 2016

    Starter Homes will be out of reach for those in need of affordable housing in the majority of council areas in England, new research has claimed.

  • Private rents increase 2.2% in Scotland

    10 November 2015

    Private rents have increased 2.2% in Scotland year-on-year, official statistics published today have revealed.

IH Subscription