The UK’s rental market is now the world’s fourth largest by total volumes of privately rented properties according to research from a lender.
Octane Capital says only the United States, Germany and Japan have more privately rented homes.
Octane analysed the size of the private rental market across OECD nations based on the total number of dwellings, the proportion of these attributed to private rentals and what this equates to in terms of the total number of rental homes in each market.
Across the UK there are estimated to be over 29.5m homes within the current property market - of those, it claims 8.7m are now privately rented.
In the United States, out of 139.7m homes, some 47m are privately rented. With just shy of 20m privately rented homes, Germany ranks second, with Japan next at 8.7m in total.
Octane Capital chief executive Jonathan Samuels says: “The buy to let sector is a serious business and privately rented properties not only account for a third of all homes across the nation, but they also provide a home for many, many more tenants, who have been priced out of homeownership due to high house prices.
“We could see the UK start to catch the other frontrunners as long term renting becomes more prevalent as a lifestyle choice.
“This is already a commonplace occurrence in nations such as Germany where nearly half of all homes are privately rented in order to satisfy this demand. Should we see a similar trend emerge in the UK, there’s no doubt that the buy to let sector will continue to swell in size.”