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Rampant growth of build-to-rent sector revealed by British Property Federation

Homes built grew by 30% over the past 12 months, will reach 200,000 by 2020 and has the backing of the government and planners.

Nigel Lewis


The build-to-rent sector in the UK has grown by 30% over the past 12 months to nearly 118,000 homes either completed, under construction or planned, a figure which is predicted to hit 200,000 by 2020, the British Property Federation (BPF) claims.

And it says the sector is not just building the apartments it is best known for. Nearly a fifth of the homes built or in the pipeline are “family-friendly” houses.

The figures were commissioned from Savills by the BPF and are backed by Housing Minister Dominic Raab, who says the government is “restless to do more”.

This data is the first time the BPF has released a full year’s worth of building data for the fast-expanding build-to-rent sector (BTR). The number of new build-to-rent homes completed increased by 45% to 20,863 during the period, while the number under construction increased by 47%, and the number in planning has jumped by 30% to 63,955.

The figures also reveal that BTR has so far remained a London phenomenon with a significant majority of properties completed or in planning being in the capital. But that is likely to change – more BTR homes in the regions are currently under construction than in London.

The regions where BTR is seeing the largest number of properties built are in the North West (29,600), South East (7,101), West Midlands (6,378) and Yorkshire (5,131).

build-to-rent“There is now real momentum in the sector, having received a significant boost in the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework, which officially recognised the importance of build to rent in bringing forward new homes and the need to define sites to ensure delivery,” says Jacqui Daly, who led the Savills research effort (pictured, left).

“At this rate of growth, we expect that the build to rent pipeline could double to around 200,000 within the next two years.”

Build-to-rent example

Grainger, one of the leading BTR suppliers in the UK which has so far ploughed £850m into the sector this week moved the 100th tenant into its Argo Apartments (see header image, above) in Canning Town, London two months after launching the project, which features 134 apartments. Rents start at £1,430 pcm for a one-bedroom unit which includes Virgin broadband, access to several large communal areas and a 24-hour repairs and resident support team.

Read more: ‘What does BTR mean for letting agents?

April 12, 2018

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