Private landlords have become the dominant force in housing in Britain, raking in £54 billion in rent in the year June 2016 to June 2017, while the interest paid by house-buyers to banks and financiers went down to £27 billion.
Almost half the rent payments are made by younger people, and the slice of household income spent on housing has trebled over the past 50 years.
Young people pay higher rents for smaller, less secure rented flats and houses, and have longer commutes, than in the 1960s.
Meanwhile some better-off older people are doing well. Into the 1990s households paying off their mortgages were almost double the number who had paid them all off. Since 2013-4 those better-off clear-and-free households have outnumbered the mortgage-payers, making up 34% of all households compared to 29% of mortgage-payers.
Private renters are now 20% of all households — up from half that, or not much more, between 1981 and the later Blair-Brown years. They were 50% of all households in England in 1953, a percentage which declined to 11% in 1981 as council and housing association tenures went up from 18% to 32%, and owner-occupiers from 32% to 57%.
The Thatcher government pushed through the big cuts in private tenants’ rights which opened the way to today’s private landlord profiteering, but it really took off only from the later Blair-Brown years.