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Rise of the Mid-Life Renters

16 September 2016

More of us are renting properties in our thirties, forties and fifties. The proportion of 25-34 year olds renting, privately, has risen from 29% in 1994-1995 to 35% in 2014-2015. The proportion in the 35-54 age group went from 27% to 37%, whilst the over 75’s share fell from 9% to 3%.

Why the rise in age? Is it just because of house prices? 

Mainly. Soaring house prices over the past 2 decades means affordability has been stretched, keeping people renting for longer, while mortgage rules have been tightened since the financial crisis. 

The private rented sector has expanded more generally because local authorities have not been replacing social housing at the rate it leaves the sector through “right to buy” and more people are therefore pushed into renting privately. Buy to let has also expanded dramatically since deregulation of the sector in the 1980 and the emergence of buy-to-let mortgages. 

Are private renters younger than owner occupiers or social renters?

Yes. In 2014 – 2015 70% of private renters were under aged 45 compared to 36% in social housing and 25% of owner occupiers.