0:02 AM, 30th November 2023, About 3 months ago 5
The rising cost and scarcity of rental homes have forced thousands of families to downsize and older renters to move to cheaper areas, the BBC has revealed.
It has seen statistics from Dataloft, a consultancy firm, showing that nearly half of the new tenancies signed by families earning between £30,000 and £70,000 in the first six months of 2023 were for one or two-bedroom properties.
This is a significant drop from 57% of families who rented homes with at least three bedrooms in the same period of 2020.
The data also shows that renters over 30 years old are more likely to relocate to lower value areas than higher value ones when they move home – suggesting a trade-off is needed to stay within budget.
The managing director of Dataloft, Sandra Jones, said: “We believe these reductions in renters’ standard of living to be the direct result of the severe supply constraint that has driven up rents.
“When affordability is stretched, as it is for so many today, people make trade-offs in order to stay within a budget.”
The property portal Zoopla points to a lack of availability of private rented homes was adding to the trend of families taking on smaller properties.
The platform’s executive director, Richard Donnell, said the slower buying and selling market meant greater demand in lettings, so people ‘can only find or rent what is available’.
Greg Tsuman, the president of ARLA Propertymark, said landlords needed more incentives to stay in the sector and raise the number of private rental properties, such as changing the tax system.
He added: “Fundamentally, the problem is that landlords are exiting the market when demand for rental properties continues to rise.
“Landlords are making a loss when rents are rising, and we need to address the root causes if we’re to solve this.”
The BBC also reports that the National Housing Federation (NHF), which represents housing associations, says the situation is affecting the health and wellbeing of older people, who faced insecure and expensive tenancies.
The NHF is calling for more social housing to meet the demand.
The report highlights that rents are rising, and demand is high but the number of available homes has dropped as some landlords sell up.
The NHF said the number of people aged over 55 who were renting privately in England had soared.
Its survey suggested that 42% of them regularly struggled to cover their basic living costs such as buying food and clothes or heating their homes.
The NHF is warning of a ‘huge spike’ in the number of people entering their pension years who were living in private rented homes they could not afford.
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