Buying a home, meeting mortgage obligations, paying bills and supporting the family has never been cheap, and the latest figures released by Halifax have revealed that the cost of doing so is now at its highest point since 2008.

Despite a 23 per cent drop in average mortgage payments, rising utility prices have shot up in recent years, and this factor alone accounts for 89 per cent of the total rise.

And with inflation meaning consumer prices have, in general, risen by 15 per cent over the past four years, it appears that the amount of money needed to own and run a home is continuing to rise.

"The typical costs of owning and running a home have increased over the past year, returning the overall level to that of four years ago," said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.

Purchasing a home, maintaining it and coping with the financial stress that comes with owning a property is not easy, and thus many people may be tempted to look to the private rented sector that has witnessed sharp growth as the housing market has suffered.

Indeed, a report from Experian details the rise in the number of properties that are on the lettings market, with an extra 58,000 becoming available in 2011 compared to 2010.

Both homeowners struggling to sell and investors looking to let are considered to be the reason for the increase, and demand for such accommodation may also rise as owning and running a home becomes ever more expensive.

Those who do buy properties with the intention of letting can benefit from securing cheap landlord insurance policies that safeguard their assets, and homeowners that take the step of renting to tenants could also do the same to maintain their value.

With letting property designed to produce a profit, it seems the opportunity to take advantage of the current economic climate in Britain by doing so will remain for the foreseeable future.