Over the last 10 to 15 years, the UK private rental and HMO (houses in multiple occupation) sectors have grown strongly. The main reason is affordability issues arising from house price growth considerably outperforming wage growth. The average house price is now £250,000, so a first-time buyer needs a deposit of around £37,500 (15%) to acquire a suitable mortgage, whilst average salaries are only at £30,800. The deposit required in London is considerably more as the average house price here has reached over £500,000.
For many people not on the property ladder, rental is the only option. There is also some commentary which would suggest that there is even a growing apathy to house ownership among 21–35 year-olds, especially in the capital.
In 2018, the Government estimated that there were around 4.7 million people within the private rented sector in England and around 497,000 HMOs in England and Wales.
Original source: Arbuthnot Latham