It was hard yesterday not to have some sympathy with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett after that painful interview. But coming unstuck on the numbers or not, it highlighted the point that they are the only party with a shot of winning seats (in England at least) that actually has a target for building significant numbers of social homes and which has identified private sector landlords as the ideal source for funding this.Read more
Inspired by Savills' findings on landlord capital gains last month, we decided to look at just what sort of money landlords in the UK are making – and how much we the taxpayer are helping them.
As reported in the Guardian this morning, UK landlords make £77.7bn each year in rent and capital gains. This is more than Morocco’s GDP of £68.6bn (for a country of 33m people), making the industry the 61st largest economy in the world (UN 2013).
They are also subsidised to the tune of £26.7bn in tax breaks and housing benefit. That is higher than the £25bn of cuts that George Osborne claims are needed after the election. It is also more than our spending on the overseas aid budget of £10.3bn, job seekers allowance of £4.34bn, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s entire budget of £6.14bn, and the £1.13bn Affordable Homes Programme put together.
The cost of landlord subsidies to Britons is £1011 per household. That is the cost of a week’s holiday for four in Majorca, a 55” HD TV, or a Boardman Road Team Carbon bike.
As hundreds of renters gathered in Westminster yesterday to take part in Rent Freedom Day, a new poll we commissioned from Survation revealed how big an impact housing could have on the election - if politicians made it a priority.
Almost two fifths of voters (38%) would back a party that made housing one of its top three priorities, the poll found. It also revealed that the housing crisis is now affecting a majority of Britons, with 57% saying they, or someone they know, is struggling to buy or rent a suitable home.
Half (50%) of private renters are struggling to buy, while 43% say they are struggling to rent a suitable home, indicating that their current situation is difficult to live with.
A third of home owners (35%) say they know someone who is struggling to buy, which shows that many of those with the security of their own home are aware that there is a problem.Read more
Hannah Fearn recently focused on the Residental Landlords’ Association’s call to politicians to back regulations they feel will increase properties and raise standards in the PRS. All parties are urged in this election year to support this sector which the RLA feels has the potential to become ‘a first choice for those seeking a place to live’. Hannah points out that far from making an active ‘choice’ about their tenure, private renters of 2015 feel ‘trapped’ and optionless.
She’s right.Read more
An exclusive poll for tenants’ campaign Generation Rent published today shows that Britain overwhelmingly backs the return of rent controls. The poll by Survation of 1,009 people on 18th and 19th December shows that 59% of people back rent controls and only 6.8% of people oppose them. 34% had no opinion. That’s one person opposing the measure for every 9 people who support it.Read more
Rising Rents & Increased Homelessness
Today there have been a range of statistics released on the private rented sector, mortgage lending and homelessness which confirm a fairly gloomy picture for those stuck privately renting.Read more
The ONS has today released its Family Spending statistics up to the end of 2013. These show that families’ weekly expenditure has begun to increase, following a steady decline since 2006, although levels of spending still remain lower than those of 2006 once inflation has been taken into account. The decrease was due to families cutting back on non-essential items following the recession. This increase can be attributed to rising housing and transport costs, forcing families to find money to cover their basic needs.Read more
On Saturday our director Alex spoke at the Trade Union Congress's Big Youth Debate, where he outlined the findings of a joint survey of 18-35 year olds that Generation Rent conducted with the TUC. We found that most young renters are living in unaffordable housing, while a third of young mortgage holders are being stretched.
The full details are below:Read more