‘Rentquake’ bites with price surge aftershock
Rental properties in Maidstone are becoming less affordable, as soaring rental costs have outpaced household income growth.
Data from Shelter shows rental rates across England have increased significantly more than household incomes since 2011, with the housing charity calling on the government to build more affordable homes to meet the growing need for reasonable rents.
While traditionally seen as a London concern, in recent years the so-called ‘rentquake’ has started to spread from the capital to towns and cities across the country.
In Maidstone, the average rental cost of a two-bedroom home increased 23% between 2011 and 2017 – outpacing the growth in household income, which rose by just 11%.
In the 2017-18 financial year, the average monthly rent of a two-bedroom home in Maidstone cost £833.
Shelter has called on the government to come up with a new plan for social housing, ensuring people on low income jobs can find somewhere affordable to live and reduce the competition in the private rented sector.
Greg Beales, the campaign director at Shelter, said: “With this surge in private renters the housing market has shifted massively and yet as a country we’ve failed to respond.
“We need politicians of all parties to sit up and take notice and do all they can to protect renters.”
Last week controversial Maidstone landlord Fergus Wilson ramped up rent payments by £50 per month. This affected 400 homes and came within hours of a Bank of England’s 0.25% interest rate rise.
The 69-year-old said it was to pass onto tenants the additional mortgage charge.
Of the estimated 23.1 million households in England in 201617, the private rented sector accounted for 4.7 million, or 20%, of households.
Across England, the proportion of household income spent on rent by private renters has increased to 41%. But mortgaged households spend on average 19% of income on housing.
Rents are rising and have reached an average in Maidstone of £833 for a two-bed home
Fergus Wilson who hiked prices last week by £50-a-month