A first-time buyer purchasing their first house this year will have spent £52,900 on rent by the time they get on the first rung of the ladder, and future first-time buyers can expect to spend 22% more, according to Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Cost of Renting report.
Compiled with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), the report reveals the average FTB in England in 2016 will have spent 16.4% of their total lifetime earnings on rent for all the years they were a tenant.
Those buying a property for the first time this year in the North East will have spent £31,300 on rent – the lowest amount in England. Whereas in London, the average amount spent is more than double that, at £68,300. The South East is the only region other than London where the total lifetime rent spent is above the English average – where the total rent expenditure equates to £55,900.
Last year alone, on average people in the UK spent 22% of their wages on rent, increasing to 30% in London. Those living in the East enjoyed the most affordable rents due to relatively high earnings in the region, yet rent still accounted for 18.9% of their disposable income.
Brits that move out of their family home at the age of 18, will typically rent for 13 years before buying their first property. The Cost of Renting report found those leaving home and starting to rent this year, will spend an average of £64,400 before they are able to buy their first property – one fifth (22%) more than current first-time buyers getting on the housing ladder this year will be spending.
Those leaving home and starting to live independently in London will continue to be worse off, as they will spend an average of £91,500 on rent before they can buy their first home – £23,100 more than those buying in the capital this year.
ARLA managing director David Cox said: “The rising cost of rent in this country is a huge issue, and is preventing tenants from being able to save to buy a home. Our Cost of Renting report reveals that tenants are already spending a significant proportion of their income on rent, and therefore struggling to save any money. However, as house price affordability worsens and interest rates start rising, more pressure will be put on renting with weekly rent likely to rise, so home ownership will remain out of reach for many.
“Rents are becoming alarmingly unaffordable due to the lack of available housing; the North-South divide we’re currently seeing in the UK is a clear illustration of this. The London rental market is competitive, with far more prospective tenants looking for properties than actual houses available. This is pushing up rents in the capital, which will continue to put pressure on surrounding areas, including the South East, as Londoners relocate to avoid high rent costs.”