Housing affordability as a rental tenure issue has become an increasingly debated area. Particularly as it can be argued that there has been an increasing income gap between renting and owning, where homeownership is increasingly out of reach for low income households. Many young people often see themselves as a generation of renters rather than owners. The term ‘generation rent’ concerns itself with a notion that the ideals of homeownership are in reality unattainable for the majority of young people.
On the causes of rental affordability, rising income-wealth inequality can contribute to worsening rental unaffordability for low-income renters. Particularly as house prices can be seen in many places to exponentially outstrip wages, effectively ‘kicking away the ladder’ that can be climbed through housing asset ownership and future housing wealth potential. Further compounding the issue is that imputed rental payments to landlords as ‘dead money’ could have been saved for a deposit, and thus an opportunity cost is forgone. The realities of the greater parental burden of housing provision and children staying longer in the family home are of significant economic consequence.