Build-to-rent pipeline increases by 30%

by Gary Whittaker

The growth of the build-to-rent sector has been dramatic in the last year, with a 30 per cent rise in the number of homes in the pipeline.

A survey by the British Property Federation and Savills revealed this figure, suggesting that the development of specialised properties built specifically for rental purposes may be taking over from investment in existing structures that might otherwise be owner-occupied as the predominant form of private rental investment.

Over the past year, the number of build-to-rent homes either built, under construction or in the planning pipeline has risen to 117,893. Of these, 20,683 have been completed, 33,075 are under construction and 63,955 are in planning. 

A notable feature of the new homes being built is their diversity; where once the typical build-to-rent home would have been in a block of apartments, more traditional homes are now being built for rental purposes. These make up 17 per cent of the total. 

Director of real estate policy for the British Property Federation Ian Fletcher said the increased number of build-to-rent properties being built outside London and the fact that many of them are houses instead of flats shows that the sector is "evolving quickly". 

He added: "Policy is also adapting, as to date the sector has grown without a planning blueprint. This is now changing. With the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, local authorities will now have to specifically identify how many new rental homes their respective areas need. This has never before been enshrined in UK planning policy."

Mr Fletcher added that much of the growth is down to the work of "exemplar" local authorities who are engaged with trying to expand build-to-rent, but said there is potential for much greater output. 

Among the councils that have been most willing to push ahead with build-to-rent is Salford, which currently features the largest build-to-rent scheme outside London at Clippers Quay. The 614-unit scheme topped out last year and work is nearing completion.

Salford features a plethora of new rental developments, not just in the docklands but also in central Salford, a prime location for renters working just across the River Irwell in central Manchester.  

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13-April-18General Lettings News