Soaring house prices force middle-aged Brits to rent

Those aged 35-55 have become second largest group of renters in the UK

Middle aged forced to rentMany middle-aged Brits are being forced into the rental market as a result of soaring house prices.

Data from credit reference agency Experian shows that people aged 35-55 now make up the second largest group of renters in the UK after students.

Most are either single or recently separated from their partners.

According to Experian, they typically rent two- or three-bedroom Victorian or Edwardian terraced properties.

Despite being in full-time employment, and earning a salary of £20,000 to £29,000, many are forced to share accommodation with other adults.

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House prices have risen sharply in the last two years, thanks to a flood of cheap credit being made available to buyers. Official figures show the average house price jumped by almost 10%, or £25,000 in the last year alone.

As a result, many 35-55 year olds have been priced out of the market in recent years, says Nigel Wilson, head of consumer insight at Experian.

"A rapid expansion in the rental sector has, for the first time, reversed almost a hundred years of rising owner occupation. Renting is no longer the preserve of the young career starters but we increasingly see groups of older people and people of varied wealth joining them," says Wilson.

"A prolonged stay on the bottom of the property ladder creates a shortage of supply for newcomers, forcing them to seek alternative options.

"This is amply demonstrated by a recorded increase in the length of residency for younger families in starter homes, rising to 11 years from five, forcing others to look to rent property as a first step."

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Towns with the most tenants aged 35-55
1. Torquay
2. Portsmouth-Central
3. Crawley
4. Penzance
5. Chatham

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