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Rents soar as new demographics change face of renting in Britain

The total amount of rent paid by tenants in Great Britain this year will hit £85.6 billion - over twice the level of 2010 and 10 per cent more than in 2022.

The claim comes from lettings agency Hamptons which says double-digit rental growth over the last year means the total rent bill has increased by £8 billion over the last year from £77.6 billion in 2022, marking the biggest annual jump on record.  

The total rent bill is now more than double the £40.3 billion in 2010, partly because the number of households renting has increased by 25 per cent or 1.1m over that period and partly because rents have risen too.


The average rent on a newly let home in Great Britain rose to £1,348 pcm in November, this year up 10.2 per cent or £125 pcm on the same month last year. This marked the seventh double-digit increase over the last 12 months and the strongest annual rate of growth recorded in any November since Hamptons records began in 2014.

Millennials - those born between 1980 and 1994 - continue to dominate the rental market.  They spent a record £36.9 billion on rent in 2023, reversing the falls recorded between 2016 and 2020 when more millennials became homeowners.

In 2016, Millennials made up a record 58 per cent of all rented households.  That figure then fell to a low of 42 per cent in 2021, before rising again to 44 per cent this year. 

Strong rental growth since Covid began, combined with higher mortgage rates has kept the tail end of millennials renting for longer and pushed up their rent bill.  

If rates had stayed low, we would have expected their total rent bill to continue falling from 2020 as more became homeowners.  However, with the average millennial now aged around 35, the market is approaching the point where those who haven’t bought will likely be renting into retirement.

Meanwhile as Generation Z - those born between 1995 and 2012 - continue to leave home, more are becoming renters.  

They spent £30.5 billion on rent in 2023, which is £6.3 billion more than in 2022 which marked the biggest annual increase of any generation.  They made up 36 per cent of all renters this year, up from just one per cent a decade ago.


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