Policy Report: The Rent Trap

By: Liam Reynolds and Robbie de Santos  Published: January 2013

More than 8.5 million people in England now rent from a private landlord – more than at any stage since the 1970s. Renting is increasingly the new normal – the only realistic option for a rapidly growing number of ordinary hard working families up and down the country who cannot afford to buy a home of their own or access social housing.


The idea of Britain as a nation of homeowners is slipping away. In ten years, the proportion of 25 – 34 year olds with a mortgage has dropped by almost a third. What was once a realistic aspiration for people working hard and saving is becoming a pipe dream. Renting was once a short stopgap while people saved up a deposit to get a mortgage on their first home. Shelter’s new analysis shows how much the tables have turned for Generation Rent. Our analysis looks at how much they pay in rent, how rapidly their rent is rising, and their diminishing ability to put money aside for a deposit. The research – based on Government data and initial findings from the biggest survey of renters ever conducted in England – uncovers the depressing reality that, as the rent trap grows, owning a home is becoming a fading hope for a generation of ordinary families.


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