Lack of Scottish build-to-rent 'set to change'

by Gary Whittaker

New figures have indicated that build-to-rent (BTR) in Scotland is lagging way behind the English regions, a trend that could make it much harder for Scots to find the right kind of housing.

The Scottish Property Federation (SPF) has published a report highlighting this gap, based on the figures produced in a study earlier this month by Savills on behalf of the British Property Federation.

However, it also noted that the winds of change are starting to blow and the market could soon start to catch up with other parts of the UK.

The Savills report had shown that of the 117,893 homes in the BTR cycle in 2017 - either finished last year, under construction or in the planning pipeline - only 3,365 were in Scotland. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the national figures are dominated by London and the north west with 60,350 and 29,600 units respectively, the fact that Scotland is so far behind is a cause for concern, according to the SPF. 

However, SPF director David Melhuish said, the attitudes that have held back BTR development north of the border are on the wane.

He explained: "Build-to-rent has historically been characterised as simply a step up from student accommodation for millennials, but this is now changing. The sector’s growth means it can cater for a wider range of people, including families. 

"These purpose-built rental properties are high-quality, often with linked amenities, sustainably constructed and well-managed intergenerational homes."

This, he said, has sparked a "significant shift in perception" that will "boost further BTR development". Glasgow is set to be a major area of growth in the sector, he stated. 

Moreover, Mr Melhuish noted, there are some "important advantages" that should attract BTR investors in Scotland, such as the Rental Income Guarantee Scheme and the three per cent second homes tax for large-scale private rented sector schemes. All this, he predicted, will help the sector become a "catalyst" for growth in Scottish cities. 

Find out more about letting agency softwareADNFCR-1064-ID-801846422-ADNFCR

26-April-18General Lettings News