shutterstock_627032672 - Copy

Across the UK, the number of households renting accommodation has risen by 74 per cent since 2008 according to the English Housing Survey, an annual report on the country’s housing market.

This finding comes as banking group UK Finance released figures showing that agreed mortgages for homebuyers at the end of 2018 fell to the lowest level since April 2013 – just 39,007 were agreed in November, a drop of 19 per cent compared with the same period in 2017.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club believes that the fall is related to the November interest rate increase announced by the Bank of England. ‘Housing market activity has been under pressure from squeezed consumer finances,’ he said.

Almost one in three Londoners (30 per cent) are now renting, which is a historic high, according to the English Housing Survey, which adds that households in private rented homes across the country are paying 41 per cent of their income on rent, more than double the amount that mortgaged households pay.

While the government’s Help To Buy scheme has resulted in a rise in first time buyers, the cut in stamp duty did not result in new buyer enquiries, said the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

For property professionals, including buy-to-let and build-to-rent investors, these figures are reassuring, since they will sustain market rents for some time to come.