East Midlands 'faces highest private sector rent rise'
The East Midlands will see the highest rise in private sector housing rents in England over the next eight years, a housing forecast suggests.
Average private rents in the region will rise by 53% to more than £780 a month by 2020, the National Housing Federation (NHF) predicts.
The average estimated rent increase in England in that period will be 47%.
Housing Minister Mark Prisk said the government was determined "to attract new players to the market".
The price predictions are based on economic indicators such as the retail price index, the NHF said.
The federation, which represents housing associations in England, wants the government to hand over more brown-field sites for development.
A former velodrome site in Leicester is a good example of a site that could be used for social housing, the federation said.
Mr Prisk said: "With over three million people relying on the private rented sector for their housing needs, we are determined to attract new players to the market and pull out all the stops to get Britain building.
"That's why we're offering £10bn in loan guarantees to provide up to 15,000 new homes for rent, putting £19.5bn public and private funding into an affordable homes programme, and why we've identified enough formerly-used surplus public sector land to sell for 100,000 new homes."
In the East of England, private rents are expected to increase by 40% by 2018 and in the West Midlands the increase is expected to be 35.7% in the same period.
Katherine Brabner, of the National Housing Federation, said: "Rents are rocketing up and wages are simply not keeping up with those increases.
"There is very little security of tenure in the private sector - and we need to take a look at what needs to be provided and how to tackle the problem so we build enough homes in the right places."
The government also needs to "cut red tape to allow housing associations to unleash their entrepreneurial skills", the federation said.
The average private rent in Leicestershire and Rutland is £511 a month but it is expected to increase to £784 by 2020, the federation figures indicate.