Importance of renting highlighted by figures

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Almost one in five residential properties in England are now privately rented according to latest Government figures.

Updated Live tables on dwelling stock, just published, show there were a total of 24.4m residential dwellings in England in 2019. Of these, 15.6m were owner-occupied, and 4.7m were private rentals.

There has been an increase of only 1.7m residential dwellings over the last ten years – nearly all privately owned. The number of owner-occupied dwellings has gone up by 600k, but the number of private rented sector dwellings by 1m – increasing the PRS share of the total from 16 per cent to 19.3 per cent.

Of the 24.4m total dwellings, some 640k (2.6 per cent ) were empty in 2019, 122k fewer than in 2009, when 770k (3.4 per cent) were unoccupied.

The area with the highest number of vacant properties in 2019 was the North West, where 105k dwellings were empty. In London, 72k properties were vacant.

Some 17 per cent of all dwellings were classified as ‘non-decent’ in 2019. The figure was higher in the PRS where 23.3 per cent were classified as ‘non-decent’. However there had been considerable improvement over the last ten years with the 2009 ‘non-decent’ figure for all dwellings put at 30.1 per cent, and for PRS dwellings at 37.2 per cent.