Posted by Sue Hopson
Growing demand for accommodation in the private rental sector has been a constant feature of the housing market in recent months, and the latest research conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that this is expected to continue for years to come.
According to a study conducted by the charity, the number of young people aged 18 to 30 that own their home will decline by 1.1 million by 2020, while the amount living in the private rental sector is expected to increase by 1.5 million.
With demand for rented properties looking set to rise, the Foundation has called for action to be taken to ensure that significant housing problems do not emerge as a result of the current financial difficulties facing the country.
"This study aims to inform the development of housing policy and practice by identifying the key challenges likely to face young people who will be aged 18 to 30 in 2020," it said.
"The most significant change is likely to be increased competition for PRS accommodation from young people unable to access home ownership or social rented accommodation."
Considering that affordability remains a constant issue, mortgage finance is hard to obtain and saving for a deposit is particularly difficult given the state of the economy, it appears that the stock of private rental properties in the UK will have to increase dramatically over the next few years in order to cope with demand.
While current landlords will doubtlessly be expected to play their part as they expand their portfolios and invest in more buy-to-let properties, it could be that new incentives which make becoming a landlord more attractive may also be necessary to ensure there is not a shortage come 2020.
If recent trends to persist, it seems inevitable that home ownership in Britain will decline as growing numbers look to the private rental sector for a home.