The Association of Residential Letting Agents wants the government to allocate more spending and greater political priority to housing, after new research showing many people will have to rent for far longer than expected before being able to buy a home.
ARLA says a first time buyer purchasing their first house this year will have spent, on average, £52,900 on rent - and future FTBs can expect to spend 22 per cent more.
Compiled with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the survey reveals the average FTB in England in 2016 will have spent 16.4 per cent of their total lifetime earnings on rent for all the years they were a tenant.
Those buying a property for the first time this year in the North East will have spent £31,300 on rent – the lowest amount in England.
In London, the average amount spent is more than double that, at £68,300. The South East is the only region other than London where the total lifetime rent spent is above the English average – where the total rent expenditure equates to £55,900.
Last year alone, people in the UK spent an average of 22 per cent of their wages on rent, increasing to 30 per cent in London. Those living in the East enjoyed the most affordable rents due to relatively high earnings in the region, yet rent still accounted for 18.9 per cent of their disposable income.
The survey, the results of which are in the report ‘The Cost Of Renting’, shows that Britons that move out of their family home at the age of 18 will typically rent for 13 years before buying their first property.
“The rising cost of rent in this country is a huge issue, and is preventing tenants from being able to save to buy a home. Our Cost of Renting report reveals that tenants are already spending a significant proportion of their income on rent, and therefore struggling to save any money. However, as house price affordability worsens and interest rates start rising, more pressure will be put on renting with weekly rent likely to rise, so home ownership will remain out of reach for many” explains David Cox, ARLA’s managing director.
“Although housing is high on the political agenda, all we’ve seen come out of parliament recently is legislation which is set to hinder the experiences of tenants; and the sheer lack of affordable housing means many renters will never fulfil their dreams of homeownership.
“Despite the Chancellor’s efforts in the Budget to help the housing market, the housing budget accounts for just 0.26 per cent of public spending, lower than other key areas, such as transport which accounts for 3.6 per cent of total spending” says Cox.