The rise and rise of buy to let in figuresMake Text Bigger
The rise of buy to let as a major social phenomenon for households is reflected in the latest housing survey figures for England.
The data, for 2009-10 from the Communities and Local Government Department (CLG) reveals a major shift in the housing sector away from owner-occupied homes.
Although home owners still make up the bulk of the sector, the trend is slipping down – from 71% of total households in 2008 to 67% at the end of 2010.
That 4% marks a small but relevant shift from 14.8 million to 14.5 million households – a drop of 300,000 home owners in just 12 months.
Altogether, the English housing sector comprises 21.6 million homes.
The CLG has broken down the totals to give landlords an indication of how many people live in their own homes, social housing and the private rental sector.
Around 3.45 million households (16%) of the total are private renters, 17% are social renters and the rest (67%) are private owners.
Average weekly rents for private renters were £156 compared with £75 for social renters.
The figures also reveal how long renters have lived in their homes.
More than two thirds of households formed (68%) in the survey period were privately renting their homes.
A third of private renters have lived in their home for less than a year, while only 2% of owners and 8% of social tenants had chalked up such a short time.
This could reflect the market shift away from buying to renting as more tenants who would have been first time buyers are unable to buy a home. Only 4% of home owners were recent first time buyers – with the majority aged between 25 and 34 years old (61%).
About 630,000 households (2.9%) were overcrowded, with over a third in London, making up almost 8% of the capital’s households. Around 7.9 million households making up 37% of all english households were under-occupied.
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