UK home to world's fourth largest rental market

Posted on Monday, March 7, 2022


Across the UK, there are estimated to be over 29.5m homes within the current property market. 30% of these are thought to be privately rented, meaning the UK’s buy-to-let stock totals over 8.7m homes.

Research by specialist property lending expert, Octane Capital, analysed the size of the private rental market across OECD nations based on the total number of dwellings, the proportion of these attributed to private rentals and what this equates to in terms of the total number of rental homes in each market and found that when it comes to the total volume of privately rented properties, the UK ranks fourth in the global rankings, with just the United States, Germany and Japan home to more rental homes.

Top of the table is the United States, where an estimated 34% of the nation’s 139.7m homes are privately rented - a total of 47.7m rental homes.

With just shy of 20m privately rented homes, Germany ranks second but some way behind the United States, with Japan also home to more rental homes than the UK at 8.7m in total.

France completes the top five and trails the UK with some 8.3m rental properties within the private rental sector.

Jonathan Samuels, CEO of Octane Capital, commented: “The buy-to-let sector is a serious business and privately rented properties not only account for a third of all homes across the nation, but they also provide a home for many, many more tenants, who have been priced out of homeownership due to high house prices.

"The sheer scale of our private rental market is clear when viewed in contrast to other nations around the world, with the UK sitting comfortably within the top five.

"While we will never rival the might of the United States due to the mismatch in geographical size, population and property market size, we could see the UK start to catch the other frontrunners as long term renting becomes more prevalent as a lifestyle choice.

"This is already a commonplace occurrence in nations such as Germany where nearly half of all homes are privately rented in order to satisfy this demand. Should we see a similar trend emerge in the UK, there’s no doubt that the buy-to-let sector will continue to swell in size.”

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