Buy to let doubles in 10 years

The number of people privately renting a home has nearly doubled in the past decade, according to the latest government census data.

In 2001, 1.9 million tenants rented a home for a private landlord – accounting for 9% of all households, says the Office of National Statistics.

The number surged to 3.6 million – 15% of households – by 2011, while another 698,000 households live rent free.

The 2011 census also showed the number of private renters has overtaken the number of social tenants, with 4.215 million people renting from a private landlord or letting agent, compared with 4.118 million living in a council or housing authority home.

In percentages, 18% rent privately, while 17% are social tenants. In 2001, the figures showed 12% were private tenants, while 19% of households had a social landlord.

Ownership is still the dominant form of tenure, with 64% (14.9 million) of households owning their own home in 2011, either with a mortgage or loan, or outright.

Home ownership has dropped 4% since 2001, but more people own their home outright, a rise of 2% from 29% (6.4 million) to 31% (7.2 million).

The number of married couples has slipped from 7.9 million (37%) to 7.7 million (33%), while the number of cohabiting couples has risen from 1.7 million (8%) to 2.2 million (10%).

Tenure

England and Wales, 2001 and 2011, all households

Thousands, per cent

Tenure

2001

2011

Change

Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

Owned Owned outright

6,381

29

7,207

31

826

1

Owned with a mortgage or loan

8,396

39

7,647

33

-749

-6

Shared ownership

140

1

178

1

39

0

Social rented Rented from council (local authority)

2,869

13

2,208

9

-660

-4

Other

1,289

6

1,910

8

622

2

Private rented Private landlord or letting agency

1,889

9

3,566

15

1678

7

Other (including living rent free)

698

3

649

3

-49

0

Household composition

England and Wales, 2001 and 2011, all households

Thousands, per cent

Household composition

2001

2011

Number

%

Number

%

One family Married or same sex civil partnership couple

7,915

37

7,757

33

Lone parent

2,063

10

2,488

11

Cohabiting couple

1,794

8

2,298

10

All aged 65 and over

1,943

9

1,905

8

One person One person household

6,503

30

7,067

30

Other Other household type

1,442

7

1,850

8

Source: Office for National Statistics, December 2012

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