Rent controls, a Labor Party policy proposal, are under scrutiny by British property portal Zoopla as its recent research suggests that rents track earnings over the long run and adjust when affordability becomes stretched.
Analysis of the website’s rental listings found that at a national level, rents have ranged between 28% and 32% of average earnings since 2007.
The current proportion of earnings spent on rent is 30%, Zoopla’s analysis found.
London may rank as the most expensive region in most indices, but Zoopla’s research shows it has barely moved as a proportion of income since 2014, while the regions where rents have grown the most since 2007 are the east of England (23%) and the west midlands (20%).
In contrast rents have grown by just 1%, 5% and 9% in respectively the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire & the Humber regions since 2007.
The report said: “Talk of rent controls or the need to ‘stabilise’ rents needs to be put in the context of rental growth and affordability.
“A balance is needed between fairness for renters and stability of rental supply and the need to attract long term investment into an expanding and important housing tenure.”
Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla, said: “The private rental market is a complex and diverse tenure which has been the focus of a growing number of policy changes with further changes being proposed.
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