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The number of renters aged 50+ hits an all time high

Depositphotos 29164735 m-2015 (1)

Rising house prices, a change in mortgage lending, and higher stamp duty is to blame for the record number of over-50s who are still living in rented homes suggests new research.         

The study, from estate agent Hamptons International, reveals that 

  • over 790,000 residential properties in Britain are now rented by people aged over 50 – this is a 61% increase since 2012;
  • nearly one in five renters is over the age of 50 in the South East of England;
  • 15% of rented homes are now occupied by households aged over 50, with pensioners making up nearly a third of this group.

Commenting on the research, Aneisha Beveridge from Hamptons said that it was harder for people to buy homes as house prices are rising more than incomes. She added: “To make matters worse, after the 2008 financial crisis it became harder to get a mortgage after banks tightened their lending rules. And stamp duty costs have risen for those buying houses at the top end of the ladder.”

How much rent do Brits pay?

The data shows an overall increase in the average rent, with it costing £977 a month - an increase of 2.6% on last year. 

Households in the South West of England saw a 4% year-on-year increase in their monthly rent, going from an average of £783 in May 2018 to £814 in May 2019.

And Greater London and Scotland saw the next steepest rises in yearly rents with year-on-year increases of 3.1% and 3.2% respectively.

In the East of England and Wales, however, rental costs have decreased, with tenants paying lower rent, on average, than they did last year.

Renting can be a choice 

In 2018 a BBC survey, many tenants said they enjoyed the feeling of freedom that renting gives them, as well as less responsibilities in relation to home maintenance and repair – a sentiment that Ms Beveridge touches on:

“Renting offers households flexibility … They can try out different locations and types of houses before making a major commitment.

“Some couples choose to rent to avoid paying Inheritance Tax by selling their house and gifting the money to their children while they are still fairly young.

“The responsibility to maintain and repair a rental home falls to the landlord, not the renter, which is also appealing to older tenants who do not want to be burdened with the upkeep of the property”. 

As we reported earlier this month, the amount of people renting in the UK has increased by 5% since 2010.