New figures have revealed that there will be an increase in privately renting households headed by someone over the age of 45 – and it is predicted that this group will occupy at least half of all privately rented homes by 2035.

In a study entitled ‘Where next for the private rented sector?’ conducted on behalf of Paragon Bank, the Social Market Foundation (SMF) reported that 35% of households which are currently private renting are headed by somebody aged 45 or over.

They predict that this figure will rise to at least half of all privately rented households by 2035. This is around 1.14 million households, raising the total number of 45+ privately rented households to 2.7 million.

They also revealed that the proportion of households in the sector which are headed by someone aged 34 or under will fall from 39% to 35% by 2035. With the greatest decline experienced by those in the 35-44 age group. This group currently make up 25% of  privately rented households but this will fall to just 15% by 2035.

These projections were modelled using data regarding housing market trends over the last ten years. Forecasting that as a whole the total proportion of households privately renting will increase from 20% today to 22% by 2035. With – of course – a 2% fall in home ownership, from 63% to 61%.

Speaking to Property Wire about these figures, Managing Director of Mortgages at Paragon Bank, Richard Rowntree, said:

“The UK has an ageing population and projections show that the popular will generally be older in the coming years. This is reflected in the SMF’s modelling, which highlights that a growing proportion of older households will live in privately rented accommodation in the next 15 years.

“The challenge for the private rented sector is how to adapt to accommodate more mature tenants, including where and how they want to live. The SMF tenant research shows that more mature tenants want greater security in the form of longer tenancies and control over their property, such as the freedom to make cosmetic changes. They also want to have pets in their homes and these are all things landlords need to consider.”

SMF conducted a survey of over 1,300 tenants in the UK and found that some 61% in the 35-54 age bracket expect that they will still be renting in 15 years’ time. Those aged 34 or under a little more optimistic, with some 32% predicting that they will still be renting in 2035.  The older age group clearly have little hope of getting on the property ladder with some 81% of renters aged 55 or over stating that they will still be renting in 15 years time

These mature tenants also have different priorities with regards to the location of their property.

48% of those aged 55 or over said that being close to shops was in their top three priorities, compared to 32% of those aged between 35 and 54. They also wanted decent transport facilities (40%), to be close to friends and family (36%) and in close proximity to health services (34%).

They also want to make their home their own, with some 41% of those aged 55+ stating that having an unfurnished property was in their top three priorities, compared to 16% of 35-54 year olds and 11% of 18-34 year olds. And it was important for them to be able to keep pets. In fact 21% of this age group said that this was a top priority, compared to just 14% of those aged 34 or under.

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