'Rent-Quake' Hits UK As Report Reveals We're Spending Almost As Much On Rent As On Mortgages

Private landlords in England alone earn more than £41billion per year.

With increasing numbers of people renting and rent prices rising, a “rent-quake” has hit the UK, Shelter has warned. New analysis by the housing charity shows the amount of money being paid out by private renters is approaching parity to the amount being paid in mortgages

Private renters in England alone are currently spending £41billion altogether in rent per year. If private landlords clubbed together this World Cup, they could buy the Brazil squad in just over a week, the England squad in seven days and the Tunisia squad in under 12 hours, the charity said.

The most recent English Housing Survey, analysed by Shelter, identified a 345% increase in the total rent money paid out since the year 2000, compared to a 62% rise in total mortgage payments.

In light of the figures, Shelter has called on the government to “give families protection from this rent-quake” by building “far more homes that are genuinely affordable to rent”.

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In 2000, the total amount spent on private rents across the UK equated to just 27% of the total spent on mortgages. But in the period between 2015 and 2016, the total amount spent on rent had skyrocketed to be 75% of the total spent on mortgages.

The figures come despite the fact homeowners still greatly outnumber private renters in the UK, with 63% of households made up of homeowners, compared to 20% private renters. However, the number of households that are private renting has risen by 74% in the last 10 years and rent itself continues to rise.

At the turn of the millennium, the average amount spent on renting was £92 per week, compared to the average mortgage payment of £76 per week. In the period 2015-2016, average weekly rent was £184, compared to an average weekly mortgage payment of £160.

The average proportion of income being spent on rent by private renters is now 41%. By comparison, mortgaged households pay on average 19% of income.

In light of the analysis, Greg Beales, director of campaigns at Shelter, said: “A rent crisis has been creeping up on us for years, with rents soaring along with the number of people renting.

“Consecutive governments have done little to stop it, leaving families right across the country struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

“This government should step in and give families protection from this rent-quake by building far more homes that are genuinely affordable to rent.”

In response, a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) spokesperson said since 2010, the MHCLG has delivered over 357,000 new affordable properties.

“We are determined to do more, and are investing a further £9bn in affordable homes, including £2bn to help councils and housing associations build properties for social rent,” they said.

“We are also committed to giving councils the power to borrow £1bn to build new properties in the areas were there are the greatest affordability pressures.

“To help make renting fairer and more transparent, we are banning letting fees and cracking down on rogue landlords.”