A rise in the number of households in the capital spending more than half their income on housing has prompted a think tank to call on the Mayor of London to improve the city’s rental properties.

Resolution Foundation’s research found that, although the peak number of “housing pinched” households occurred in 2008 at 14.8% before falling away in recession, the figure had been on the increase again since 2012 and had reached 12.7% in 2016.

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Its report said this equated to 430,000 homes in London housing 990,000 people despite falls in mortgage rates.

The foundation’s senior policy analyst Laura Gardiner said: “Typical incomes in London are higher than elsewhere in the UK but too often this extra income is dwarfed by the higher housing costs Londoners face.

“The scale of the capital’s housing crisis is such that around a million Londoners live in households where the majority of their income goes on housing.

“Dealing with this is a particular problem for renters, almost a quarter of whom are housing pinched.

“With home ownership a distant dream for many Londoners, improving the quality, security and affordability of the capital’s private rented market must be a top priority for the new Mayor of London and councils across the city.”

The think tank, which works to improve the living standards of those in Britain on low to middle incomes, found Londoners were more likely to be “housing pinched” than other UK residents and the disparity had grown in recent years.

Of those spending more than 50% of their income on housing in the capital, 71% were living in working households and 54% are renters, rather than homeowners.

The foundation said a greater roll-out of shared ownership schemes could provide the bridge towards home ownership that many renters in London want.

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