A 48% increase in rent for one-bedroom homes in Torfaen’s private rented sector over the last five years is having an impact on residents’ housing choices, councillors heard.

For some residents, it means they can’t save for a mortgage, meaning that option is being “eliminated” for them.

The data was shared at Torfaen Council’s cabinet meeting in January.

Cllr David Daniels, executive member for adult services and housing, said that in 2019 the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom home in Torfaen was £415 and was now £615.

He said: “That is taking a bigger chunk of people’s disposable income which then in effect means it is even harder for people to save to get a mortgage, so it’s just totally eliminating one avenue of housing for a lot of people.

“The increasing cost of private tenancies is potentially preventing people from accessing that marking itself, and we have got an underdeveloped market in Torfaen, which leaves social rented accommodation where we are and have been for some. time over-subscribed.”

He said that the average waiting time for a family to get permanent accommodation had reduced from seven months (in 2022) to three months.

For single people, the wait is reduced from 15 months to ten months.

Cllr Daniels said: “I will add that during the pandemic those figures were much higher than that.  I lost sleep over that because we had people backed up on the temporary accommodation list waiting to go into temporary accommodation. It was a very challenging circumstance. We’ve come a long long way since the pandemic.”

Councillors were told that the average house price in Torfaen had risen from nearly £179,000 in 2022 to nearly £200,000 in 2023, with interest rates at 5.25 per cent.

Cllr Daniels said: “This paints an incredibly difficult set of circumstances for those seeking to get a mortgage or sustain the mortgage they’ve got.”

The figures were shared in an item about Torfaen’s ‘rapid housing plan’, a Welsh Government requirement for councils to show how they will prevent homelessness.