Industry News Sally Walmsley 20/03/2024

Almost 400,000 UK jobs rely on the private rented sector – it’s vital landlords get the support they need

New research shows smaller landlords in the UK’s private rented sector contribute a huge £45 billion to the UK economy and are responsible for supporting more than 390,000 jobs.

The data comes from a new report commissioned by the NRLA and Paragon Bank, and throws into stark relief the value of the sector in supporting the wider economy – and the potential impact of any reduction in the number of homes to rent.

The research, carried out by accountancy firm PwC, found that a 10% reduction in the size of the sector would not only make it even harder for tenants to find homes to rent at a time when demand remains high, it could also deprive the UK economy of £4.5bn and put 39,000 jobs at risk.

According to the most recent figures from Rightmove there are now 11 tenants competing for each rental property, with further pressure expected from growing numbers of students and the difficulties many face affording a deposit to become homeowners.

Growing the sector needs to be a priority, not only to house these tenants but to give a much-needed boost to the economy and the jobs market.

NRLA CEO Ben Beadle said: “The report demonstrates the pivotal role the PRS plays in not just housing many millions of people, but providing employment across the UK.

“Further growth in the PRS would support the creation of a significant number of new jobs over the coming years.

“The report provides a welcome springboard for further discussion about what steps can be taken to make this happen.” 

Paragon Bank Managing Director of Mortgages Richard Rowntree added: “As wells as directly contributing the economy and creating jobs, the PRS also supports labour mobility through the provision of homes to rent.      

“The PRS has the highest proportion of tenants in employment compared to other tenures and provides economic fluidity, enabling the workforce and companies to quickly adapt to changes in demand.”      

James Bailey, UK Housing Leader at PwC UK said he recognises that smaller landlords provide the vast majority of PRS homes. He said: “Around 80% of the estimated 4.8 million properties in the PRS in England and Wales are provided by landlords with fewer than 15 properties.    

We estimate that this segment of the market contributes £45 billion of value to the wider economy each year. The scale of this footprint demonstrates the significance of the sector in the economy as a whole.”    

More information

This report, entitled ‘Economic Contribution of the Private Rented Sector’ and compiled by PwC, can be downloaded here.

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley Magazine and Digital Editor

Sally is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

See all articles by Sally Walmsley