The Growth of the Private Rental Sector

In 2016-17, the private rented sector accounted for 4.7 million or 20% of households.

The latest English Housing Survey (2016–17) has just been published and it reveals the continued growth of the private rented sector. Over a fifth of households (20.3%) now rent privately, up from 19.9% a year earlier and a higher proportion than ever before.

As is well documented, across all the regions, the growth in London’s rental sector has been most pronounced. It now accounts for 30% of households, up 11.6 percentage points from ten years ago. While there are over 2 million more households renting privately than there were ten years ago, almost half a million of these are in London.

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In 2006-07, about three quarters (72%) of those aged 35-44 were owner occupiers. By 2016-17, this had fallen to half (52%). While owner occupation remains the most prevalent tenure for this age group, there has been a considerable increase in the proportion of 35-44 year olds in the private rented sector (11% to 29%). The proportion in the social rented sector did not change.

The most recent available figures for West Oxfordshire show that 12.5% of households live in social rented accommodation and 14.9% (6,243 households) in privately rented accommodation. Delving into the detail a bit more; there are 1,525 privately renting households in Witney (13.4%) and 1,660 in Carterton (28.2%).

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