The number of private rental households headed by someone over the age of 45 will increase by 1.4 million by 2035, according to a study commissioned by Paragon Bank.
According to a new study by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), the private rental sector will age over the next decade, as the proportion of young private renters declines.
The research found that the proportion of households with a head under the age of 34 would drop from 39% to 35%.
However, the 35-44 age group would see the largest decline in its share of privately rented households, from 25% to 15% by 2035.
The forecast is part of a wider trend that sees the total proportion of private tenant households rise from 20% to 22% while home ownership falls from 63% to 61%.
The SMF survey revealed that many tenants view their status as long-term, with 61% of tenants in the 35-54 age bracket expecting to still be tenants in 15 years. Similarly, a significant majority (81%) of renters over the age of 55 expect to be in the same situation.
However, younger renters have different expectations as only 32% of renters under 34 expect to rent in 15 years.
Richard Rowntree, Managing Director of Mortgages at Paragon, said: “The challenge for the private rental sector is how to adapt to accommodate more mature tenants, including where and how they want to live.
“SMF’s tenant research shows that more mature tenants want greater security in the form of longer tenancies and control over their property, such as the freedom to make cosmetic changes. They also want to have pets in their homes and these are all things owners need to consider.”
Amy Norman, senior researcher at SMF, pointed out that construction rates, interest rates, house price inflation and government housing policy would all be factors in the future of rents.
She explained that as renters age, it means “we have to rethink our preconceptions that renting is for young, mobile households.”
“Mature tenants have different needs and preferences,” she said. “They want accessible homes on the ground floor within walking distance of shops, transport, health services and their loved ones. Policy makers, developers and landlords therefore face the challenge of making the private rental sector sustainable and ensuring that rental policies and housing suit all tenants, including those who rent longer and later.
The survey found that 48% of renters over the age of 55 said proximity to shops was in their top three priorities along with good transport facilities (40%), proximity to friends and family (36% ) and proximity to health services (34%). also a high score.