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Londoners have been losing 40pc of their salaries to rent

The average private renter in London spent 40 per cent of their income on housing between 2013 and 2015. — Reuters pic The average private renter in London spent 40 per cent of their income on housing between 2013 and 2015. — Reuters pic LONDON, Oct 13 — Britain’s housing crisis was laid bare in a report that showed how soaring rents, particularly in London, can swallow salaries.

The average private renter in the UK capital spent 40 per cent of their income on housing between 2013 and 2015, compared with 28 per cent in the rest of Britain, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The poorest tenants, its findings toiday show, are paying a third more of their income than they were in the 1990s as a result of cuts to housing-welfare payments. Here are four charts showing the scale of the problem in the city of almost nine million people.

Austerity, more than Brexit, is at the forefront of voters’ minds and helps explain how Prime Minister Theresa May and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are competing for who offers better policies on how to make housing more affordable.

Corbyn, who has drawn strong support from young people forced to rent because they cannot afford to buy a home, has pledged to introduce rent controls and promised “a radical programme of action” for tenants. According to the IFS, the proportion of 25-34-year-olds renting privately has tripled to 37 per cent from 12 per cent since the mid-1990s.

May said she would make it easier for local authorities to build more rental homes, known as council houses. The announcement marked a major shift for the party of Margaret Thatcher, whose signature policy was to force local councils to sell off properties and massively expand the number of people who own their own homes.

The great unknown is how an exodus of foreigners post-Brexit will affect demand — and prices. — Bloomberg

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