Landlords demanded £7.7bn more from tenants last year

English Housing Survey data show the average annual cost of private rent rose from £6,528 to £7,956 in 2012 – an average increase of £572 every year.

Castle Trust chief executive officer Sean Oldfield said: “Despite mortgage rates being well below their historic average, renting is booming as homeownership becomes more and more of a distant dream.”

The number of private renters in England has increased by nearly a quarter since 2008 to 3.1m, the English Housing Survey revealed last month.

While roughly three-fifths of private renters, half of whom were under 35, said they expected to buy a property, only half expected to do so within the next five years.

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