The private rented sector (PRS) is growing at a healthy rate in England with 20 per cent of the households now living in rented homes in 2016-17, according to the latest English Housing Survey.

The proportion of PRS households doubled since 1996-97 and the overall size increased from 2.1 million households in 1996-97 to 4.7 million households in 2016-17. Though the sector grew a little between 1996-97 and 2006-07, growth accelerated after 2006-07, with over two million additional households added to the sector.

The survey revealed that the majority of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation and their status as private renters. It was found out that private renters spend a greater proportion of their household income on their housing costs than social renters.

The increasing size of the PRS means that across most age groups (with the exception of aged 75+), the number of private renters has increased in the last 20 years even where the proportion of private renters in that age group has not.

The churn in the PRS is higher than in other sectors and has increased over the last 20 years. In total, 860,000 households moved within the tenure (i.e. from one privately rented home to another) and 149,000 new households were created.

The English Housing Survey is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. The data for 2016-17 clearly indicates that the prospects for PRS are bright in England.