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Older households in privately rented homes to soar by 2035

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  • Households headed by individuals aged 45+ will account for at least half of privately rented homes by 2035
  • 61% of tenants aged between 35 and 54 today expect to be renting in 15 years’ time
  • More mature tenants show clear preference for homes to be located near shops, family and health facilities

Homes headed by a person over the age of 45 will account for at least half of all privately renting households by 2035, analysis conducted on behalf of Paragon Bank has found.

A report by the Social Market Foundation (SMF), Where next for the private rented sector?, found that 35% of households currently private renting are headed by somebody aged 45 or over.

This will rise to half of households by 2035 according to the SMF’s projections, equating to an additional 1.14 million households, bringing the total number of 45+ households to 2.7 million. 

Conversely, the proportion of households in the sector where the head is aged 34 or under will fall from 39% today to 35%. Those in the 35-44 age group will experience the greatest decline, falling from 25% of households today to 15% in 2035.

The SMF modelled its projections on housing market trends experienced between 2009 and 2019. Overall, it forecasts that the proportion of total households privately renting will increase from 20% currently to 22% in 2035, with those in home ownership falling from 63% to 61%.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages, said:

“The UK has an aging population and projections show that the popular will generally be older in the coming years. This is reflected in the SMF’s modelling, which highlights that a growing proportion of older households will live in privately rented accommodation in the next 15 years.

“The challenge for the private rented sector is how to adapt to accommodate more mature tenants, including where and how they want to live. The SMF 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 landlords need to consider.”

Amy Norman, SMF Senior Researcher and one of the report authors, said:

“The typical renter of the future will look different from today’s. How different will depend on a range of factors including rates of construction, interest rates, house price inflation and government housing policy. That said, one thing is clear: the private rented sector will be getting older.

“That reality means we need to revisit our preconceptions about renting being the preserve of young, mobile households. Mature tenants have different needs and preferences. They want accessible, ground-floor homes within a stone's throw of shops, transport links, health services, and their loved ones. Policymakers, developers, and landlords therefore face a challenge ahead to future-proof the private rented sector and ensure that renting policies and homes are suitable for all tenants, including those who are renting for longer and into later life.”

SMF’s survey of over 1,300 tenants showed that 61% of tenants in the 35-54 age bracket currently expect to still be renting in 15 years’ time, falling to just under a third (32%) for those aged 34 or under. Over four in five (81%) renters aged 55 or over believe they will still be renting in 15 years.

In terms of what is important to more mature tenants with regards to the location of the property, there are clear differences in priorities compared with those in younger age brackets.

Nearly half (48%) of those aged 55 or over said that being close to shops was in their top three priorities, compared to 32% of those aged between 35 and 54. Good transport facilities (40%), being close to friends and family (36%) and proximity to health services (34%) also scored highly for those aged 55+.

With regards to what renters want from a property, 41% of those aged 55+ said having an unfurnished property was in their top three priorities, compared to 16% of 35-54 year olds and 11% of 18-34 year olds. This age bracket also expressed a greater desire for pets, with 21% stating this was a top priority, compared to 14% of those aged 34 or under.

For further information contact:
Michael Clarke
Head of Media Relations
Paragon Bank
Tel: 07740090746
www.paragonbank.co.uk 

Notes to editors:

  • The report, Where next for the private rented sector?, was published at 08:30 AM on 14 March 2022 at smf.co.uk/publications/future-of-private-rented-sector/
  • SMF surveyed over 1,300 UK adults who currently live in rented accommodation. Surveys were distributed by Opinium
  • This report was sponsored by Paragon Bank. The SMF retained complete editorial independence


Paragon lends to private individuals and limited companies and has mortgages suitable for single, self-contained properties, as well as HMOs and multi-unit blocks. Paragon can accommodate higher aggregate lending limits and more complex letting arrangements including local authority leases and corporate leases along with standard ASTs.

Paragon introduced its first product aimed at the professional property investor in 1995 and is a member of UK Finance, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), National Landlords Association (NLA) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). 

Paragon Bank PLC a subsidiary of the Paragon Banking Group PLC which is a FTSE 250 company based in Solihull in the West Midlands. Established in 1985, Paragon Banking Group PLC has over £12 billion of assets under management and manages over 450,000 customer accounts.

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ.