There is a greater influx of people relinquishing home ownership in preference of renting than are leaving rented accommodation to become homeowners.
The English Housing Survey 2011/2012 surveyed 22 million households in England and found the number of owner occupied homes had reduced by 400,000 since 2005/06 to 14.4 million in 2011/12.
A greater increase has been observed in the private rented sector with numbers up to 3.8 million households (2011/12) from 2.4 million (2005/06), a rise of 1.4 million over the 5/6 years.
The survey shows the makeup of housing use as 65 % owner occupied, 17 % private rented and 17% socially rented.
There are many causes for rising rental demand, a requirement for flexibility for jobs, an increase in single adult households, people waiting longer to become first time buyers and rental properties providing opportunities for people to live in areas they otherwise couldn’t afford.
The survey found the gap in household earnings between owner occupiers and those privately renting was around 10k a year, pointing to the observation some people renting are currently unable to afford to buy a home.
Still, 59% of private tenants are aspiring to become homeowners at some point. Government schemes like help to buy will help some people put their foot on the property ladder but for many the flexibility of letting a home provides the best solution and will continue to do so.
The fact remains there an increasing number of tenants requiring an increasing number of properties to rent; we have a growing list of waiting tenants.