According to the 2016/17 English Housing Survey, a resource published by the Government which gives an overview of housing conditions and attitudes, 30% of social renters now expect to buy a property at some point.
This is an increase from the 2015/16 figure, when 26.8% of social renters expected to buy in the future. The number of social renters expecting to buy has increased gradually since 2011/12, when only 20.3% felt that property ownership was on the cards.
The Survey also revealed the growth of the English private rented sector (PRS). PRS now accounts for 20.3% of English residents, while 17.1% are social renters. PRS first overtook social rent in 2011/12 as the second most common tenure, and has since then continued to grow.
Other statistics show that England is still largely ‘a nation of homeowners’, with 62.6% owning their own homes.
Perhaps encouragingly, the number of PRS residents receiving housing benefit fell again in 2016/17, falling to 22.4%. However, social renters bucked this trend, with the proportion receiving housing benefit increasing slightly – although the figure of 59% was still well below the 2012/13 statistic of 65.6%.