Build to rent could support increased demand in the rental sector

by Gary Whittaker

Build to rent properties could be the answer to addressing Britain's property supply, according to a new report. The British Property Federation (BPF) and Savills, in conjunction with the London School of Economics, have suggested that a purpose-built rental supply could help to address the continued increase in demand.

According to the report - entitled Unlocking the Benefits and Potential of Build to Rent - institutional investment at sustained levels could lead to 240,000 new properties being built specifically for the rental market by 2030. This could help address the shortage in homes as a whole, as well as the fall in available properties to rent.

The findings suggested that constructing properties on urban sites that are close to transport hubs could see housebuilding levels reach three times what they are right now. Building on 20 per cent of the large sites that are currently in construction, said the report, could lead to an additional six per cent of homes being built.

Around 15,000 more homes could be built each year if these additional construction levels were reached, based on the 164,000 new homes that were completed in England alone in 2015/16 and current expected levels of supply.

Director of policy at the British Property Federation, Ian Fletcher, said: “By measuring build to rent’s growth and the other benefits it delivers, and what gets in its way, we want to show to government the sector can be an important partner to its ambitions to build more homes.”

The report highlights the importance in better recognition of the build to rent's planning system and better codification of the government's preferred planning approach. 

Jacqui Daly, director of Savills residential investment research and strategy, said: “There is no doubt that we need to boost housebuilding significantly to address years of undersupply and begin to impact housing affordability. However, historically the rate at which new homes are built is closely linked to rates of sale. 

“Build to rent is a model that breaks this link. It also holds the key to getting institutions back into the housing market and increasing the supply of good quality, well managed homes."

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13-March-17General Lettings News