The UK rental sector is becoming "crowded"as fewer young people are able to make the first step onto the property ladder, an expert has suggested.

Paul Sellers, housing policy adviser at the Trade Union Congress (TUC), claimed that the age at which people are buying their first house "is going up and has crept up over the years".

Even though the average cost of housing has continued to fall, getting onto the market is still being hindered by the difficulties involved in getting a mortgage.

Combined with a shortage of social housing, this means that most young professionals are renting accommodation from a private landlord once they move out of their parental home.

"Private renting has become a very crowded sector and is getting very busy as people are moving out and buying at the moment,"Mr Sellers said.

He added that the TUC would like to see an increased rate of social housing built to help offer an alternative to buying a house.

According to a recent government survey, 34 per cent of 25-year-old men and 19 per cent of 25-year-old women are still living at home.ADNFCR-2002-ID-18931768-ADNFCR

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