Insurance House CoinsPrivate landlords now own almost one out of five homes in the UK and they will buy a further million in the next five years, according to new research highlighting the phenomenal growth of buy-to-let.

The figure, along with other statistics about this increasingly popular form of investment, provides the latest snapshot of Britain’s changing housing market as fewer people own and more rent.

As reported by The Telegraph, an army of two million private landlords now own and rent out five million properties, according to the report by mortgage lender Paragon.

This means 18 per cent of households now rent from private landlords. And the proportion is growing, as investors continue to see property as a source of future income and profit.

Government figures suggest that by 2032, more than one in three properties will be owned by private landlords.

The report “18 Years of Buy-to-Let” drew on information from a range of sources and was published to mark the eighteenth year since the “invention” of buy-to-let.

That was 1996, the first year in which mortgages specially aimed at private landlords were made available.

The buy-to-let boom has gathered pace in the past few years with mortgage lending rising at over 20 per cent per year and the number of available landlord loans now topping 700.

Such figures have sparked anger among younger renters locked out of the housing market.

Dan Wilson Craw of Generation Rent, the lobby group for tenants and housing reform told The Telegraph: “This sort of data shows how the market isn’t operating properly and has become a vicious cycle.

“More people are attracted to buy-to-let which drives up property prices, in turn trapping more tenants into renting for longer.

“There are parts of the country now where there really is no prospect of home ownership for many people and it is difficult to see how that will change.”