Retirees in Britain have paid £3.7bn in rent in the last year, up a whopping 216 per cent from the £1.2bn they paid in 2007.
Countrywide’ monthly letting index found that £1 in every £14 (or 7.3 per cent) paid by tenants in Britain comes from a pensioner.
It also found that retired people now account for eight per cent of all tenants, compared with 5.2 per cent in 2007.
In 2017, pensioners paid an average of £810 a month, up 0.3 per cent on last year and 19 per cent since 2007. However, retirees on average paid 12 per cent less than the typical tenant because they were more likely to rent a smaller home.
Three-quarters (75 per cent) chose to rent a one or two-bedroom home compared with two-thirds (66 per cent) of all tenants. Retirees also make up a greater proportion of tenants in the places where rents are lowest.
London has the least number of retirees (3.5 per cent) renting properties while Wales accounts of the biggest proportion of that population (18 per cent). The south west (13 per cent) and the north east (10.1 per cent) have the second and third largest proportion of retired tenants respectively.
Johnny Morris, research director at Countrywide, said: “The rental market can no longer be typified by the image of carefree, young professionals. More than half of tenants are over 30 and the number of pensioners renting has reached record levels. And with younger generations growing up much less likely to be homeowners, tenants are getting older with an ever more diverse group of people calling the rented sector home.
“Seven consecutive months of falling rents in the capital are starting to show signs of rippling out across the country with rents down in over half of regions outside London. The number of homes on the market remains well up on last years’ levels, softening rental growth.”