The average age of renters is increasing

Will Leyland, 07 April 2022

The average age of renters is increasing, contrary to the popular belief that renters are in their early to mid-twenties and simply in rented accommodation whilst they save to get on to the housing ladder.

Despite this perception of renters dissipating somewhat over the last 10 to 15 years, there is still an overwhelming perception amongst many that the rental sector plays a much smaller part in the UK property market than it actually does, and that those in the sector are typically younger and of lower financial status then they actually are.

As house prices continue to grow at a pace that sits significantly outside what most people can reasonably expect to afford without some financial help, there are understandably more people entering and staying in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

Stereotypes are shifting now too. Whilst once it may have been considered undesirable to be in rented accommodation rather than owning a house, these perceptions are changing thanks to a number of factors.

Firstly, renting is now much more stable, with the government introducing new legislations that mean that renters are able to sign into increasingly longer contracts with their landlords, allowing stability in the longer term. There are also now harsher laws around landlords’ responsibilities, that mean that private renters aren’t exploited like they may have been in the past by a small minority of corrupt landlords.

So what lies behind the data on this?

Average age of renters in the UK

According to new data released by the Social Market Foundation (SMF) show the extent to which the average age of renters is increasing.

As reported by Property Wire, “A report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), Where next for the private rented sector?, found that 35% of households currently private renting are headed by somebody aged 45 or over.

This will rise to half of households by 2035 according to the SMF’s projections, equating to an additional 1.14 million households, bringing the total number of 45+ households to 2.7 million.

Conversely, the proportion of households in the sector where the head is aged 34 or under will fall from 39% today to 35%. Those in the 35-44 age group will experience the greatest decline, falling from 25% of households today to 15% in 2035.

The SMF modelled its projections on housing market trends experienced between 2009 and 2019. Overall, it forecasts that the proportion of total households privately renting will increase from 20% currently to 22% in 2035, with those in home ownership falling from 63% to 61%.”

The future of renting

This points to the very reasonable assumption that many more people will find themselves renting over the coming year and, as such, the proportion of housing stock that accompanies this will need to grow in line with this.

It will also likely mean that the expectations that come with renting property will shift too. Whereas even 10 years ago tenants may have been expected to do basic maintenance themselves, and keep the house in extremely good order to protect their deposit, the responsibility of the home is shifting towards the landlord.

This is a good thing, and the professionalisation of the sector should be welcomed by both tenants and landlords.

If you’re thinking of moving soon, and you’re not sure where to start, why not get in touch with us today so we can discuss what you’re looking for?


Will Leyland, 07 April 2022