Soaring private rents continue to outpace average wage rises

Row of terraced house roofs with chimney stacks.

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

“As voters prepare to go to the polls next month, private renters in Great Britain are facing increases of 8.7% on the year.

“Inflation dropping to the Bank of England’s target rate of 2% will be of little consolation to renters in the short-term who are currently seeing their rents by £101 per month as average private rents in Great Britain hit £1,262 per month. Despite historically strong wage growth, rents are continuing to outpace average wage rises of 6%.

“Private renters already spend a higher percentage of their monthly earnings on housing than those in all other forms of accommodation. Rent hikes will be particularly challenging for the 1.4 million private renters in severely insecure work, who are most vulnerable to rising prices while managing irregular hours and variable pay checks. Last year, we found that 49% of insecure workers couldn’t personally pay an unexpected bill of £300 if it was due within the next seven days – yet, they are having to find the money or face losing their homes.

There are particular challenges for workers in London and the North West who are facing above average rises on the year. Tenants are facing particularly high hikes in Oldham (13.4%), Salford (13.2%) and Manchester (12.1%). In London, there have been large increases in Brent (32.7%), Greenwich (16.1%) and Islington (15.0%).

It has been a Parliament of missed opportunities on rental reform and employment, with limited legislative progress to support those that face insecurity at home and at work. After five years of economic and social turbulence, the reality is private tenants are no more secure than they were five years ago.

Those hoping to escape the overheating private rental market face house prices that are rising by 1.1% and have hit an average of £281k. Unless they have support from family members, many workers living in private rental accommodation are likely to get on the housing ladder any time soon.

“Against this background, 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.”

Statistics quoted are from:

Back to News