England’s Growing Rental Markets

There’s no denying it, we’re getting older – by 2040 pensioner headed households will make up 36% of the population, up from 28% now. However, some parts of the country will be far younger than others and this matters because places with a younger population have bigger private rental markets and are also more likely to see a higher price appreciation. The five charts below outline this.

The number of pensioners per 1000 working age people will rise from 280 today to 364 in 2020. according to data from the Office of National Statistics

Projected Dependency Ratio from 2016 – 2041. Full chart here

All regions will be affected more or less equally, but some are starting out much younger than others. The South West and the North East will continue to be the oldest part of the country while London will remain the youngest, followed by the West Midlands and the North West

Projected Dependency Ratio by Region from 2016 – 2041. Full chart here

What does this mean for property investment? Places with younger people are more likely to see greater price appreciation. The chart below plots the dependency ratio in 2016 to the change in median property price from 2010-2019 for each local authority. The lower the dependency ratio, the higher the price appreciation

Median Price Change% (2010-2019) to Dependency Ratio (2016) by Local Authority
Full chart here

In addition, currently 29% of households are headed by people over 65, but they only form 8.4% of private renters. Most renters are aged 25 to 44 and this is the market landlords should be targeting to minimise voids

Households by Age of Household Head. Full chart here
Private Renters by Age of Household Head. Full chart here

So where do we find these younger markets? Mostly in inner cities as you’d expect, but some are younger than others. The interactive map below colour codes local authority areas by their dependency ratios in 2020, 2030 and 2040 (use the layers icon in the top right corner to choose a year)


England – Dependency Ratio (Pensioners/1000 Working Age People) by Local Authority

Area nameDep Ratio 2020Dep Ratio 2030Dep Ratio 2040Change% 2020-2040
Tower Hamlets81.2195.98127.6957.23%
Hackney98.28113.45144.1246.64%
Newham101.55125.93164.3661.86%
Lambeth105.04128.28162.8155.00%
Southwark107.16132.80170.3058.92%
Islington111.94128.86162.3445.02%
Manchester123.72131.54158.3227.96%
Wandsworth124.16137.80169.9236.85%
Lewisham124.60139.50175.6140.93%
Haringey132.91153.05196.4747.83%
Barking and Dagenham136.38139.69173.9727.56%
Greenwich145.50158.60198.5436.45%
Hammersmith and Fulham147.35173.00224.5252.37%
Slough149.36169.75215.3744.20%
Waltham Forest149.66166.52208.1439.07%
Nottingham159.80170.56202.1826.52%
Camden164.36187.79238.7945.28%
Oxford169.01186.12222.5331.66%
Westminster169.38196.74250.1447.68%
Leicester172.41191.07218.9526.99%
Brent174.55213.17270.6055.03%
Reading174.59190.85235.6634.98%
Hounslow175.01200.69252.4444.24%
Merton177.43193.94238.6234.49%
Brighton and Hove178.28190.35238.3233.68%
Bristol, City of179.21177.70192.827.59%
Redbridge179.53190.80227.8526.92%
Cambridge179.77196.12238.4332.63%
Luton183.92198.49237.4729.12%
Southampton184.90195.90225.7522.10%
Ealing187.22219.36280.6449.90%
Birmingham190.68195.46225.8818.46%
Watford191.97209.08255.9433.32%
Enfield192.47210.94262.4036.33%
Coventry192.69186.23204.045.89%
Hillingdon195.02212.94258.2532.42%
Kingston upon Thames196.40209.85255.9530.32%
Crawley196.64219.78268.7936.69%
Croydon200.29229.08283.2541.42%
Portsmouth200.92221.66265.9332.36%
Newcastle upon Tyne205.46224.86255.0524.14%
Liverpool206.00222.11245.7519.30%
Norwich207.02211.41241.9816.88%
Salford208.55214.73247.8918.86%
Thurrock210.17214.89257.1422.35%
Milton Keynes210.99244.47298.7741.61%
Barnet212.27233.69290.8537.02%
Corby214.07237.56291.6036.21%
Rushmoor215.45258.06329.6353.00%
Bracknell Forest216.06253.67316.0446.27%
Dartford217.63226.59271.7424.86%
Kingston upon Hull, City of219.07239.57276.5426.23%
Preston219.14241.25286.6930.83%
Lincoln219.17240.20279.3527.46%
Exeter222.11230.96261.5117.74%
Blackburn with Darwen223.09245.99295.6532.52%
Welwyn Hatfield223.25238.71282.5426.56%
Sandwell226.85228.76274.3220.92%
Leeds227.54236.21273.5320.21%
Kensington and Chelsea227.71274.56342.5250.42%
Peterborough227.89250.09301.8732.46%
Sutton228.01241.07293.3728.66%
Northampton229.27254.65309.8435.14%
Stevenage229.69264.86320.5039.53%
Bradford233.51261.90317.6836.04%
Richmond upon Thames233.89258.34327.0139.82%
Sheffield234.48241.86279.6119.25%
Harlow235.85255.11297.2026.01%
Harrow236.81268.88320.3535.27%
Medway239.28258.85303.6326.89%
Guildford240.91257.51303.4625.96%
Bexley244.56248.89287.9617.75%
Swindon246.16296.17382.4355.36%
Middlesbrough246.84279.91318.6029.07%
Ipswich248.03275.55332.1933.93%
Derby248.29266.94322.2829.80%
Runnymede248.87263.28311.7625.27%
Oldham250.23262.82308.6923.36%
Worcester251.79274.70325.1529.14%
Gloucester253.21289.51353.8639.75%
Wolverhampton256.62266.13316.7923.45%
Rochdale256.80281.41332.0229.29%
Colchester259.23267.76312.8520.68%
Aylesbury Vale261.95292.59354.0635.16%
Stoke-on-Trent262.30278.81322.2022.84%
Dacorum262.32290.82343.3630.89%
Bromley262.70264.66309.2117.71%
Basildon264.50278.05320.8121.29%
Knowsley264.60311.37356.0534.56%
St Albans265.92279.29332.4425.01%
Gravesham266.00278.65326.2922.67%
Woking266.21296.08359.8035.15%
Bolton266.75283.16335.4725.76%
York266.84284.95333.0224.80%
Telford and Wrekin267.29296.19362.8935.77%
Bournemouth267.45285.65348.6230.35%
Basingstoke and Deane267.96307.40380.7242.08%
Trafford270.01287.27340.0625.94%
Kirklees271.24294.00353.0230.15%
Charnwood272.18288.88334.6622.95%
Bedford274.17302.61370.8735.27%
Central Bedfordshire274.95304.67364.3532.52%
Tameside275.63303.98365.0832.45%
Broxbourne276.54297.02354.4628.18%
Walsall276.63277.31317.8914.92%
Havering276.69275.31303.409.65%
Plymouth277.05302.08349.1026.01%
East Hertfordshire278.76317.49391.3040.37%
Wokingham279.70307.43369.3532.05%
Epsom and Ewell281.29291.34344.0522.31%
Stockton-on-Tees282.26322.92378.8734.23%
Warwick284.88300.23338.6118.86%
Cherwell285.00331.20412.3044.67%
South Derbyshire285.20321.22401.9740.94%
Bury285.99308.16362.4326.73%
Bath and North East Somerset286.22300.69343.5120.02%
Warrington286.33323.59398.4039.14%
Reigate and Banstead286.79312.78381.5233.03%
Three Rivers287.03309.91371.5429.44%
Halton287.12330.68387.3434.91%
Spelthorne287.63310.22370.9028.95%
South Gloucestershire289.71301.27341.5217.88%
Redditch290.32323.23369.5527.29%
Calderdale290.93330.54404.4239.01%
Elmbridge291.82319.92395.2635.45%
Wycombe291.95316.95379.8930.12%
Hertsmere292.18325.09388.5332.98%
Gateshead292.57317.81362.3623.86%
Rossendale293.37328.33399.8536.29%
Forest Heath293.90330.37396.7935.01%
Cheltenham294.56333.60402.7536.73%
Windsor and Maidenhead294.61320.67397.3834.89%
Mansfield295.55332.37393.6233.18%
Wigan295.78323.09401.1535.62%
Kettering295.95322.28398.8534.77%
North Hertfordshire296.30323.65389.9631.61%
Doncaster296.32332.05391.8332.23%
Sunderland296.39336.65389.1131.28%
Burnley296.82324.14371.8825.29%
Hyndburn297.00328.70396.1333.38%
Wakefield297.13325.81388.2730.67%
Cannock Chase297.44337.63424.6342.76%
Barnsley297.61326.81392.5231.89%
Tamworth298.34339.94405.9336.06%
Ashfield298.43327.32395.0532.37%
Tonbridge and Malling299.01321.70387.9729.75%
West Berkshire300.65352.16436.1245.06%
Pendle300.68329.75379.0026.05%
Hartlepool300.84343.29408.1735.67%
Chelmsford300.97323.21372.9723.93%
East Staffordshire301.22342.76419.9739.42%
Epping Forest302.47315.98369.6922.22%
Maidstone304.25327.56392.2628.92%
Southend-on-Sea304.56327.63398.2430.76%
Rugby305.57326.89385.0126.00%
Nuneaton and Bedworth305.63326.31375.0622.72%
Canterbury306.48326.20386.1826.00%
Lancaster306.90333.71394.6028.58%
Swale308.17339.13408.2332.47%
Hastings308.19343.06423.3637.37%
South Cambridgeshire308.36340.19412.6833.83%
Newcastle-under-Lyme308.43323.46365.4318.48%
Rotherham308.66334.92390.0726.38%
Tunbridge Wells309.06342.49422.3436.65%
Eastleigh310.33346.84404.1630.24%
Bolsover311.14341.29421.0135.31%
Ashford311.83340.60418.1134.08%
Surrey Heath311.85357.16445.3042.79%
North Tyneside312.53354.62420.0334.40%
Chorley312.82344.37417.9033.59%
Wellingborough312.96340.97412.5331.82%
Brentwood315.02327.05370.6817.67%
Erewash315.03345.60421.1233.68%
South Tyneside315.12366.82429.6136.33%
North West Leicestershire315.24344.20418.8432.87%
Blackpool315.83339.06402.5827.47%
Gosport316.32375.31462.2046.12%
Stockport316.67336.59385.0621.60%
Huntingdonshire318.11368.90449.2141.21%
County Durham321.16354.66415.8029.47%
Darlington321.36369.53450.8340.29%
Uttlesford321.51369.29454.4241.34%
East Cambridgeshire322.39358.45438.8736.13%
Hart322.47365.13448.0038.93%
St. Helens322.97343.23402.6624.67%
Selby323.53374.40451.2439.47%
North East Lincolnshire323.59363.06431.9733.49%
Dudley324.01332.29387.5619.61%
Blaby324.18350.97407.2425.62%
Braintree324.43368.41452.3739.44%
Gedling325.26341.84391.4120.34%
Broxtowe325.59345.89391.6020.27%
Chesterfield327.25364.45440.8134.70%
Vale of White Horse327.28366.59442.0335.06%
Mid Sussex329.11356.87430.8030.90%
Richmondshire330.01413.72523.3158.58%
High Peak330.85390.63480.1045.11%
Boston333.90343.19389.9416.78%
Tandridge334.36365.44439.6431.49%
Winchester335.12367.97438.3630.81%
North Lincolnshire335.87382.45459.8336.91%
Rushcliffe337.27366.23429.2627.28%
Daventry340.09393.26489.5343.94%
South Northamptonshire341.21394.71485.1242.18%
South Oxfordshire341.39385.88472.2138.32%
Cheshire West and Chester341.83380.27453.4832.66%
South Ribble342.17387.12470.5037.51%
Solihull342.55355.79399.9116.74%
Carlisle344.07401.07481.0139.80%
Wiltshire344.84404.19508.3147.40%
East Northamptonshire344.95400.43508.3747.38%
South Bucks345.76379.50457.9832.46%
Barrow-in-Furness346.50383.56461.5533.20%
West Oxfordshire348.83406.99503.1944.25%
Wirral349.87389.51455.4230.17%
West Lancashire350.28386.46455.6630.08%
Newark and Sherwood351.33389.81466.9132.90%
Hinckley and Bosworth352.17382.60447.7327.13%
Bassetlaw352.24402.28491.3839.50%
Sevenoaks353.28366.53423.1019.76%
Amber Valley353.82395.23484.3636.89%
Test Valley354.02399.67476.3234.55%
North Warwickshire354.60397.05472.2633.18%
Stafford356.41389.81461.9729.62%
Copeland359.21423.26505.6340.76%
Harborough360.42415.15507.1140.70%
Chiltern360.55388.22452.7525.57%
Oadby and Wigston361.17401.79469.8930.10%
Poole363.64394.12469.2329.04%
Redcar and Cleveland363.96409.12481.0632.18%
Stroud365.63407.65484.3732.47%
Waverley366.66393.60471.3028.54%
Worthing367.07411.16517.6841.03%
Melton367.21425.97522.7042.34%
City of London368.92452.70574.9155.83%
Tewkesbury370.10412.54498.8434.79%
Bromsgrove370.46390.85452.1222.04%
St Edmundsbury371.72412.02500.9034.75%
Fenland372.14409.91496.1933.33%
South Kesteven373.43428.89526.8141.08%
Fareham373.60421.83501.9134.35%
Horsham374.84430.54529.0641.14%
Cheshire East375.15426.64519.4938.48%
Rochford375.76403.78476.9726.93%
Adur377.04381.86456.5721.09%
Sefton377.85428.53494.5330.88%
Mole Valley380.83421.58511.5334.32%
Mendip381.20432.06521.7036.86%
Taunton Deane384.38440.33535.0439.20%
Havant385.35431.89515.1633.68%
Harrogate385.35465.69592.9953.88%
Sedgemoor386.86424.47505.5230.67%
North Kesteven388.68427.73512.8531.95%
East Hampshire389.02458.13561.2944.28%
Dover390.92447.66548.4840.30%
Ribble Valley392.66455.66570.8745.38%
Thanet392.87427.91513.2830.65%
Mid Devon394.62427.39499.8526.67%
Lichfield394.99427.74507.8028.56%
Allerdale397.57443.94539.6935.75%
South Holland398.21420.18498.7325.24%
North Somerset398.61422.60489.3522.76%
Herefordshire, County of398.71445.13528.2232.48%
South Staffordshire400.15446.94526.0931.47%
North East Derbyshire402.20437.78510.1526.84%
Northumberland402.25480.28574.4042.80%
Great Yarmouth403.84436.97513.5727.17%
Forest of Dean404.30460.44564.4039.60%
Shropshire404.51467.78579.1343.17%
South Norfolk405.01428.62503.3224.27%
West Lindsey406.43454.75537.1532.16%
Shepway407.13454.12563.9238.51%
Isles of Scilly407.43446.99524.8128.81%
Cornwall408.97440.78518.1626.70%
Staffordshire Moorlands409.09442.97531.1929.85%
Mid Suffolk410.53467.54573.6539.73%
Wyre Forest414.19432.92508.7622.83%
Breckland417.18457.40553.7332.73%
Eastbourne417.87464.57575.2237.66%
Wychavon419.23469.21566.6935.18%
Maldon420.05481.21583.4438.90%
Castle Point421.14440.46499.7618.67%
North Devon424.99462.10545.1728.28%
Lewes426.28456.33549.9529.01%
Broadland427.61454.52528.3023.55%
South Somerset428.08481.22578.7435.19%
Weymouth and Portland428.18503.40617.0044.10%
Cotswold430.79490.57605.0440.45%
Rutland432.04495.61613.5042.00%
East Riding of Yorkshire432.28491.35592.7937.13%
King's Lynn and West Norfolk435.51466.04550.2626.35%
Hambleton440.45519.30637.1344.65%
Wealden441.38489.72598.1035.51%
Stratford-on-Avon442.26491.85582.8331.78%
North Dorset443.49520.29641.2844.60%
Teignbridge444.41482.88568.4927.92%
Ryedale448.52497.05595.4532.76%
Torbay449.89496.71592.0431.60%
Babergh450.88512.62629.3039.57%
Eden453.58533.70660.9845.73%
Chichester455.43501.38607.9433.49%
Derbyshire Dales457.32525.30639.1239.75%
Scarborough459.71518.80610.9032.89%
Torridge460.73506.61607.1531.78%
Waveney460.84486.71574.5824.68%
Craven461.57538.26658.3742.64%
Wyre462.48507.07609.2931.74%
Fylde469.79548.61681.8445.14%
Purbeck470.11520.00613.3530.47%
Isle of Wight478.56543.92667.4939.48%
West Devon479.98546.64654.4436.35%
Suffolk Coastal480.40553.33683.9642.37%
South Lakeland480.48542.79650.4735.38%
South Hams484.21537.43623.4228.75%
Malvern Hills489.40547.79658.3234.52%
Arun501.14542.08662.3432.17%
New Forest505.46563.13676.6533.87%
East Lindsey522.32563.49671.5328.57%
Tendring529.30563.86671.1826.81%
East Devon539.41564.89658.7322.12%
West Dorset555.68628.91763.3937.38%
Christchurch566.22583.38697.9523.26%
Rother579.02636.24774.1533.70%
East Dorset579.05631.39741.4428.04%
North Norfolk591.51633.62746.3626.18%
West Somerset642.58725.24875.4036.23%

London and Manchester are the youngest cities, but will age rapidly over the next 20 years – the last column of the table above shows the change in dependency ratio from 2020-2040. Coventry and Bristol are two relatively young major cities whose dependency ratio will increase only slightly (5.8% and 7.5% respectively).

The final map shows the percentage change in the dependency ratio from 2020-2040 – the places that are going to age the most rapidly.


England – Change in Dependency Ratio (Pensioners/1000 Working Age People) 2020-2040 by Local Authority


While London will age rapidly, it will continue to have the lowest dependency ratio because it is starting from a low base. Places like Harrogate on the other hand already have a high ratio and will age rapidly (from 385 to 592 pensioners/1000 working age people in Harrogate)

In short, stick to cities while investing for the future. Outside of London, Coventry, Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham (in approximately that order) are likely to offer a steady supply of tenants over the long term.

Want to see where young people are moving to? See Internal Migration Within England

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