Over 1.5m homes go from owner-occupation into private rented sector

Two million homes have changed tenure in the last decade.

Almost all – 1,550,000 homes – have gone from being owner-occupied to rental.

The remaining 550,000 have gone from being rental to owner-occupation.

The research by Countrywide also says that 700,000 new homes built since 2005 have found their way into the private rented sector.

Johnny Morris, director of research at Countrywide, said: “The rapid growth of the private rented sector has to come from somewhere.

“While the tenure may change, the physical home remains.

“The sector has been growing since 2005 but the number of home owners has fallen in each of the last ten years.

“This scale of shift in tenure shows that the current push from the Government to increase the number of home owners is unlikely to be enough to reverse the decline.

“Although landlords and first-time buyers might not appear natural bedfellows, because they tend to look for similar types of homes they do end up selling to each other.

“Many landlords face a choice ten to 15 years after buying a home, between refurbishing the property or selling it.

“Those landlords who choose to sell up offer an opportunity to first-time buyers willing to put some work into their first home, often adding to its value.”


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  1. Vanessa Warwick

    I suspect that, with the new tax changes for landlords coming into affect in 2017, that we will see a sharp reversal of the trend and rented properties will be sold into the owner-occupier market!

    I am already hearing numerous stories of landlords selling up because it will no longer be profitable for them to continue.

    1. Will

      It is not only tax changes but increased legislation and red tape introduced by the present Government. This also affects profitability. Add to this licensing and the ongoing indications that politicians want to introduce rent control and keep pushing in that direction.  I personally would now advise extreme caution in this form of investment.

  2. mat109

    It’s completely in the Conservative party’s interests to promote owner occupiers – they are more likely to vote Conservative. Just look at the result in London in the last election, where in many boroughs those renting outnumber owner occupiers.

    Without making any judgement either way, expect more and more increasingly radical attacks on the PRS to reverse this.

    Those landlords who voted conservative in the last election were wrong when they expected the conservatives to look after them.

  3. Romain

    The root cause of all of this is the lack of supply, i.e. not enough homes are being built. This has been going on for decades now.

    As long as this isn’t addressed property prices will continue to edge ever higher and more and more people won’t be able to afford to buy and will have to rely on the PRS.

    The new legislation making life harder for private landlords will have negative effects for tenants.

  4. YieldisKing

    Buyers of B2L properties are buying an investment for an annual yield on the capital employed – capital growth is a bonus which is only available in specific regions of the UK. B2L still looks very good when compared with other asset classes such as annuities, bonds and shares – where no tax relief at all is available on interest payable on loans!

    1. Will

      Perhaps something to do with the Government controlling interest rates and thus returns.  My pension has been halved by the last 3 governments!  So no surprise alternative investments are sought and if you can’t get them in the UK look abroad.  If the money leaves the country that will be even worse.  This is all maladministration and trying to control markets.

  5. mrharvey

    I’m concerned that (usually) intelligent buy-to-let investors are essentially being forced out of a property industry that was only skewed by government inaction (in terms of new house-builds). We’re 100,000 new homes a year behind the minimum requirement. We’re professionals, not scapegoats!

    1. mrharvey

      Furthermore, I don’t think we’ll see a significant shift in the balance of PRS vs owner-occupied. If anything, I expect more and more people to rent as houses become luxury assets, and unavailable to most people like you and me. I doubt I will ever own a property the way things are going (I’m under 30). I feel for the landlords being targeted by Westminster, but they are generally still in an enviable position going forward. (Just my opinion)

    2. Will

      I don’t see Government building houses do you?  I see developers being taxed to provide houses for Housing associations.  They call it planning gain. You might argue that is fair but what it does is skew the market.  So can someone tell me where all these new houses are that Government have built?  Any significant numbers of houses being built by councils?  Where are they?  So where are  councils tenants housed all in housing association properties no – they are relying on the PRS that they are constantly bashing.  If the Government  flooded the market with housing the property prices would fall.  What is required is more building and less bull.


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