Housing shortage may compel Britons to rent houses

London: Britain looks set to become a country of renters, following housing shortage and the problems around obtaining a mortgage, a survey has suggested.

Over half of the Britons questioned in a poll commissioned by Grainger, the UK's largest listed residential landlord, said they expect that in 15 years more people in the UK will be renting their homes than owning, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The split today is around 30 percent rented and 70 percent ownership.

As social renting is anticipated to remain fairly stable at 16 percent, the survey implies that private renters – currently representing 17 percent of the market – will double by 2016, said Grainger.

"There is a new housing reality dawning on Britain: the financial crisis has tightened mortgage lending; house prices continue to be uncertain; and, frankly there are simply too few homes for the demand," said Nick Jopling, the company's executive property director. "More and more people are renting."

The survey found that 40 percent of people now see renting as a first step on to the housing ladder. Also, 92 percent of young people polled (18 to 34-year-olds) said they saw renting as the only way they can move out from their parents' homes.

The younger generation was also less likely to say that owning a house was an important today as it was 25 years ago.

The survey polled over 2,200 people.

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