HIGH property prices have forced many single people aged 35 to 55 into small rental accommodation or flat shares, new research shows.
Experian, the data firm, has coined the term “midlife stopgap” to describe these individuals, who are either single or newly separated — and have now become the largest group of renters after students.
The group are typically renting two- to three-bedroomed Victorian or Edwardian terraced properties, and sharing the house with other adults. They tend to be in full-time employment and on an average salary of £20,000 to £29,000.
The average house price in the UK is £233,000, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. This is about 10 times the earnings of the average midlife stopgapper and therefore unaffordable.
Nigel Wilson, managing director of consumer insight and targeting at Experian, said: “A rapid expansion in the rental sector has reversed almost 100 years of rising owner occupation.