Near-record private rent growth means the cost of living crisis is continuing for millions of workers

Rental board signs in London.

Responding to the new private rent prices, released by the Office for National Statistics, Rebecca Florisson, Principal Analyst of the Work Foundation at Lancaster University said:

“Inflation may have dropped to the lowest rate since September 2021 at 2.3%, but near-record private rent growth of 8.9% means the cost of living crisis is continuing for millions of people.

“On average, renters in Britain are having to find £103 more a month than they were last year. This is most acute for workers in London where rents are now 10.8% higher than in 2023, and will hit insecure workers hardest as they earn on average £3,276 less than those in secure jobs.

“With only 30% of employers preparing to give above inflation pay rises in 2024, many private renters will have little breathing room to pay their increased rental costs which are already outpacing wage increases. This will be particularly challenging for the 1.4 million private renters in severely insecure work, who are most vulnerable to rent hikes while managing irregular hours and variable pay checks.

“There is more bad news for renters as UK house prices have risen by 1.8% on the year, putting the opportunity of buying a house further out of reach for many cash-strapped private renters.

“To protect renters in future, the priority for the next Government must be to reform the private rental market to make it fairer for renters, and bring employment legislation into the 21st century by guaranteeing all workers minimum hours and the Real Living Wage, to mitigate their vulnerability against rising housing costs.”

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