Families in the PRS on the rise

The number of people in Britain renting privately has doubled between the two most recent Censuses, with more families than ever now living in rented accommodation, insidehousing.co.uk reports.

Newly-released figures from the Office for National Statistics found that around 600,000 households were in the private rented sector (PRS) at the time of the 2001 Census. Fast-forward to the 2011 Census, meanwhile, and the figure has doubled to near 1.2 million.

Unsurprisingly, the number of families living in owner-occupation fell by 13 per cent over the same period.

Looking at the figures more specifically, 19 per cent of families with dependent children were living in the PRS in 2011, compared to 10 per cent in 2001. Families in owner-occupied houses, meanwhile, fell from 68 to 60 per cent over the decade. This meant that 32 per cent of all homes in the PRS were let to families in 2011, whilst the figure was at 25 per cent in the 2001 report.

The results should indicate to landlords that the market has moved from its traditional stance of being favoured by young singletons, with families now almost as likely to rent their home. It should also bode well for those with larger properties looking to find a tenant, as their two or three-bedroom house will now be in higher demand than ever before.

Commenting, Shelter's chief executive, Campbell Robb, told lettingagenttoday.co.uk: "These figures show that renting is no longer the preserve of the young and the mobile. More and more families are joining the ranks of 'generation rent'."