Rents in England have soared at a rate well above earnings, leaving renters struggling to cope, analysis by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) shows.
The CIH compared Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on rent rises between May 2011 and 2017 with data on rising wages from the Bank of England over the same period.
It showed wages had risen by 10.4% across England, well below the 14.6% growth in rents.
The worst affected area was London, where rents have soared 21.6% compared with wage growth of just 6.3%.
Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the CIH, said: “This analysis reveals just how stark the growth in private rents is in London and the South East, where it is clear there is now a very significant gap between the amount people earn and the cost of their housing.
“Our concern is that if this trend continues, more and more people will be unable to afford to rent a home – significantly increasing their risk of falling into arrears or becoming homeless.”
Ms Alafat launched the research at Housing 2017 – Europe’s largest housing conference – which begins in Manchester today.
New housing minister Alok Sharma is set to make one of his first public appearances in the role when he addresses the conference on Thursday.
A survey of 2,195 people conducted by Ipsos MORI for the CIH found 52% of private renters said they fear they will not be able to afford the cost of their housing, compared with 27% across the wider public.
Meanwhile 56% of private renters reported a great deal or fair amount of stress being caused by housing costs, compared with 33% of people across all types of housing.