The amount being paid by private renters in England is approaching parity, with mortgage payments having jumped more than 160% in less than a decade.
Now, campaigners warn of a coming ‘rent crisis’ as the number of renters rises.
Ten years ago, the amount of rent being paid was only 30% of the total handed over by homeowners.
New analysis for Shelter shows the current figure pushing past 75%.
Overall, the Shelter figures – not adjusted for inflation – show the total amount spent on private rent jumped more than 160% in under a decade – from £15.9bn in 2006 to £41.3bn in 2015-16.
The total spent by homeowners almost flatlined – rising just 5% from £52.1bn to £54.9bn.
Greg Beales, director of campaigns at Shelter, said: “A rent crisis has been creeping up on us for years, with rents soaring along with the number of people renting.
“Consecutive governments have done little to stop it, leaving families right across the country struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
“This government should step in and give families protection by building far more homes that are genuinely affordable to rent.”
Shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said: “After eight years of failure, the Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis.
“Ministers admit the housing market is broken but they won’t act to make it work better for private renters.
“The next Labour government will call time on bad landlords and bring in new three-year tenancies with control on rents.”
A spokesperson for the MHCLG said the government had delivered more than 357,000 new affordable properties since 2010 and was “determined to do more” investing a further £9bn in affordable homes, including £2bn to help councils and housing associations build properties for social rent.
Government has also committed to giving councils the power to borrow £1bn to build new properties in the areas of greatest affordability pressure.
And indicated upcoming consultation on options to support landlords to offer longer tenancies to those who want them – giving tenants more security of tenure.