The number of middle-aged households privately renting has nearly doubled in the space of a decade, rising from 691,000 in 2011 to 1.18 million in 2021, with many set to remain in rented homes for the long term, according to new analysis of Government data by Paragon Bank.
According to the data, over a fifth of those aged between 45 and 64 have lived in privately rented accommodation for more than 15 years, with a further 17% in the sector for between 11 and 15 years.
This age group experienced the greatest growth in the number of households in the private rented sector over the period. The number of households aged 65+ privately renting increased by 38%, with those aged between 34 and 44 increasing by 21%. The 16-34-year-old group increased by just 3%.
A Paragon survey of over 2,000 tenants showed that whilst the desire to own a home is high amongst the 45-64 age group, the ability to buy is inhibited. 47% of this age group has a desire to buy their own home, yet only 19% are actively saving towards buying a property.
Of the 19% actively saving to purchase a home, 25% have their finances in place and are searching, with 4% in the process of purchasing. The remainder (71%) are in the savings phase.
Another issue facing this group is income. Just 14% of those in the 45-64 age bracket have an annual income in excess of £50,000, with a quarter earning less than £10,000 per year and a similar proportion earning between £30,000 and £50,000, inhibiting the ability of tenants in this bracket to save for a deposit and limiting their ability to obtain and service a mortgage.
A home for the long term
Tenants aged 45 or over have been renting for longer, lived in more properties and tend to stay longer in the same home than those younger. They are also more likely to live alone when compared to the younger cohort.
Over a fifth of those aged between 45 and 64 (22%) have lived in privately rented accommodation for more than 15 years, with a further 17% in the sector for between 11 and 15 years. Conversely, those under 45 typically have spent less time in rented homes, with nearly seven in 10 living in the sector for less than five years.
23% of over 45s have lived in their current rental home for more than 10 years, with 22% living in the same home for between five and 10 years. This suggests that older tenants view their rental home as long-term accommodation.
Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages, said: “There is a perception that the PRS is home to the young when, in fact, over half of tenants are aged over 35 and the greatest increase in the number of households is in the middle-aged 45 to 64-age bracket.
“Too much policy focus is on getting younger tenants on the housing ladder. Whilst this is important, the Government should also consider the need to provide a home to older tenants who live in the PRS for the long term.
He adds: “Just a fifth of 45-64-year-olds are actively saving towards buying a house, which suggests that they will remain in rented accommodation for the long term. This has implications for the types of property that this group will live in as they age; for example, there may need to be an increase in one or two-bedroom properties and landlords will need to be open to property adaptions. Ensuring there is a supply of property in the PRS to cater for their needs is vital.”