A shift in renting patterns is having a huge effect on the buy to let market as older, better off renters are snatching affordable properties away from younger generations.
A study by market research firm Experian shows the demographics of buy to let renting are changing across the country.
Problems with securing a mortgage, rising house prices and developers building an increasing number of flats instead of houses are all fuelling the change.
As the rate of proportion of private tenancies rises and that of home ownership drops for the first time in a century, Britain is on a buy to let tipping point, says the report.
The prediction is the nation is moving more towards a European pattern of long-term renting for all age groups.
The flow of renters, the research found, shows older renters are snapping up affordable flats and terraced houses, forcing younger renters into the suburbs and into family homes.
Middle aged renters between 35 and 55 years old are renting the most affordable homes and often share with other adults, Experian found.
Most work full-time and earn an average income of £20,000 to £29,000 a year.
“A rapid expansion in the rental sector has, for the first time, reversed almost 100 years of rising owner occupation. Renting is no longer the preserve of the young career starters but we increasingly see groups of older people and people of varied wealth joining them,” said Nigel Wilson, managing director of consumer insight and targeting at Experian.
“A prolonged stay on the bottom of the property ladder creates a shortage of supply for newcomers, forcing them to seek alternative options. This is amply demonstrated by a recorded increase in the length of residency for younger families in starter homes, rising to 11 years from five, forcing others to look to rent property as a first step.”