Rising rents price poorer working families out of a third of Britain

Average cost of renting a home in the UK reaches new high

Lower-income working families looking to rent a home are now unable to afford properties in around a third of Britain.

According to a report from the Resolution Foundation, rents are now more expensive than the cost of monthly mortgage repayments on a property in almost half of the country.

Taking the example of a couple with one child and an annual net income of £22,000, the authors estimate where the family can afford to live. It concludes that  in 125 of the 376 local authorities in Britain studied, the rent would eat up more than 35 per cent of the family’s £22,000 net income, making it unaffordable - in 38 of the 376 areas the rent would consume more than half of their monthly net income.

Even a middle income couple (with one child and a median net income of £28,000) looking for a private rent would find themselves priced out of one in six areas of Britain using the same 35 per cent measure.

The report shows that the high cost of renting affects not just London and the South East but includes black spots across the country such as Aberdeen, Exeter, South Cambridgeshire and Warwick in the West Midlands.

Vidhya Alakeson, deputy chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: "There is an urgent need to provide more affordable housing for people on low and middle incomes. They are increasingly unlikely to be able to afford the deposit to buy their own home so turn to the private rented sector. But here too they are now struggling to find decent, affordable housing. Incomes for this group are not likely to grow for at least the next five years and this will only make the housing problem more acute.

"Only an increase in the stock of housing for rent can improve the situation and the government should make this a strategic priority. People should not have to choose between decent, affordable housing and other essentials in life such as clothing, food or furniture – yet that is increasingly what is happening as housing costs escalate."

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: "Behind these figures are families across the country being crushed by the cost of their home. We see families paying out so much of their income each month that they’re forced to choose between putting food on the table, turning on the heating or paying their rent.

"Decades of failure to build the affordable homes this country needs has pushed us to crisis point. More and more people are being priced out of homeownership while housing waiting lists continue to grow, creating unsustainable pressure on private rents. Yet last month we saw the government actually reduce what it plans to spend on affordable house building.

"Shared ownership schemes are one of the best ways to offer low-income families an affordable place to live. We need to see more schemes that are affordable for low income families and that give them the stability and security that our current rental market sadly doesn’t provide."

Meanwhile, a second report from HomeLet suggests that the average cost of renting a home in the UK has reached an all-time high at £811 per month, after the average rental amount rose by three per cent during June. This month’s average figure is 5.1 per cent higher than the same time last year. When the Greater London figure is removed, the average cost of is £681 per month, an increase of 1.9 per cent from May 2013.

Andy Richards, HomeLet's Business Development Director, said: "During this time of year, we do generally see an increase in the number of people renting a new home, particularly students who move into higher yield properties, which therefore pushes average rents up.

"Although the increase in rental amounts shows how the private rented sector is still in demand, it also needs to be remembered that tenant income isn’t increasing at the same rate. This month’s data shows the average amount a tenant in the UK earns increased by just 0.8% to £28,000 per annum.

"Yes, rents are going to increase naturally – however, costs are rising at a rate much faster than both inflation and tenant income. With recent reports of increased tenant rent arrears, it appears that maybe those renting a property just cannot afford spiralling living costs."

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Extras
indybest
News
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The JobThe successful ...

Business Analyst (Systems/ Incident Analyst)

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Business Analyst r...

SAP GRC Architect / Consultant

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently looking for a PERMANENT S...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor