PROPERTY rents in Worcestershire could double in the next eight years unless the Government allows more housebuilding, according to an industry report.
Home Truths 2012 has been published by the National Housing Federation and claims the future of the housing market looks bleak, with both private rental and house prices set to move further out of reach.
Private rents are set to increase significantly faster than house prices across the rest of England.
Between 2012 and 2020 rents in the region are predicted to rise by 47 per cent, with the average monthly rent rising from £547 to £804.
If the projected regional increase occurs equally across all areas, the average rent in Worcestershire and Herefordshire would rise by more than £250 by 2020.
David Stuart-Smith, managing partner at Andrew Grant, said rental prices had risen in the past 12 months because of increasing demand.
Mr Stuart-Smith said: “Would-be first-time buyers are being pushed into rented accommodation so there’s an increasing demand which has previously been aimed at buying.
"Mortgages are increasingly inaccessible for first-time buyers as lenders require large deposits or they charge large arrangement fees for mortgages with affordable interest rates.
“Money needs to be accumulated and that takes time and it’s increasingly difficult.
“People want to get on with life. They do not like the rents but on balance it’s more affordable.”
He said demand for rented properties is also coming from people who have sold their homes and want to get into a “more relaxed position” before buying their next property, and students and lecturers coming to the city to work at the university.
The National Housing Federation is calling on the Government to release publicly owned brownfield land to housing associations so they can build more houses.