The website Home.co.uk, always amongst the most pessimistic of housing market analysts, has made an outspoken attack on the private rented sector.
It says landlords have ‘bloated’ the private rental market, making it harder for young people to buy and removing stock from the sales market.
Doug Shepherd, Home’s director, says the effects of 30 years of council tenants being allowed to buy local authority homes and the more recent difficulties which first time buyers have in purchasing homes have combined to create a rental crisis.
“In 1991 23 per cent of stock was public sector dwellings and just 12 per cent of homes were rented privately. Jump forward and the private rented sector has grown to 27 per cent whilst public housing stock accounts for just eight per cent of dwellings” he says.
Shepherd blames landlords and successive governments for the inability of first time buyers to get their feet on the ownership ladder.
“With councils unable to replace homes they sold, fewer homes built by the private sector, cuts in government funding for housing associations, a rise in single occupancy households and the huge growth in the private rented sector, a substantial squeeze on the resale market was inevitable” he says.