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Rent affordability in Havering getting worse as price hikes outpace wage growth

PUBLISHED: 15:23 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:23 10 August 2018

House prices dropped in Havering in May, bucking the trend for the rest of London. Photo: PA

House prices dropped in Havering in May, bucking the trend for the rest of London. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Rental properties in Havering are becoming much less affordable, as soaring rental costs have outpaced household income growth.

Data from Shelter shows that 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.

In Havering, the average rental cost of a two-bedroom home increased 30pc between 2011 and 2017 – outpacing the growth in household income, which rose by just 7pc.

In the 2017-18 financial year, the average monthly rent of a two-bedroom home in Havering cost £1,111.

The so-called “rentquake”, which has traditionally been seen as a London concern, has in recent years started to spread out of the capital to towns and cities across the country.

Shelter has called on the Government to come up with a new plan for social housing, to ensure that people on low income jobs can find somewhere affordable to rent 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.

“This has resulted in consecutive governments focusing on better-off home owners while not doing enough for hard-pressed renters.

“We need politicians of all parties to sit up and take notice of the rising numbers of renters, and ensure they’re doing all they can to protect them.”

The situation was most pronounced in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, where rental prices increased by 42pc. The average salary, meanwhile, was up by just 2pc.

Rental prices have become a more significant concern in recent years, as the number of households renting from private owners has risen by 74pc in the last decade.

Of the estimated 23.1 million households in England in 2016-17, the private rented sector accounted for 4.7 million, or 20pc, of households.

Across England, the proportion of household income spent on rent by private renters has also increased, and according to the most recent figures stands at 41pc.

By comparison, mortgaged households spend on average 19pc of income on housing.

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