There are now more tenants in the private rented sector (PRS) than the social rented sector in England, according to new figures.
The latest findings of the English Housing Survey for 2012/13 show that of the estimated 22m households in England, four million (18%) were renting privately, while 3.7m (17%) were in social housing. Meanwhile home ownership fell to its lowest level in 25 years in 2012/13.
The annual survey also revealed that tenants in the PRS are more satisfied with their housing then those in the social sector. Perhaps going against popular opinion, the survey also shows improvements in the standard of private rented housing together with rents falling in real terms.
The survey shows that between 2006 and 2012 the proportion of private rented homes classed as non-decent reduced from 47% to 33%. This is despite 40% of properties in the private rented sector being 100 years old or more.
Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA, said the findings demonstrate “significant progress” in the PRS.
“Whilst it is pleasing that tenants are so satisfied with their homes there is more still to be done. This includes radical reforms to the way the sector is regulated to ensure local authorities properly target and prosecute criminal landlords rather than swamping the vast majority of good landlords with ever more costly red tape,” he said.
Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said: “These figures confirm the historic shift that people across the country are already feeling. As house prices rise, the dream of a stable home is drifting further out of reach. That leaves families faced with the unsettling reality of bringing up children in a cycle of short-term private lets, without the stability they need to put down roots and get on in life.”