Build-to-Rent Gathers Momentum

12 September 2017

With demand still outstripping supply in the British housing sector, ‘Build-to-Rent’ (BTR) developments are dramatically expanding to plug some of the gaps.

“The sector attracts investment, is growing in popularity with the millennial market and can be delivered much more quickly than a built-for-sale product,” says Harry Downes, director of Fizzy Living agency.

Downes applauds the efforts of the new housing minister Alok Sharma, London mayor Sadiq Khan and his housing deputy James Murray for boosting BTR in recent documents and announcements. The mayor’s Homes For Londoners document supports the practice and the government’s recent housing white paper also stresses its benefits.

Alok Sharma has promised to “make it easier for private rental developers to offer affordable rents,” while the mayor’s build-to-rent pathway defines a BTR product as a block of at least 50 units that are covenanted as a single rental investment for at least 15 years and managed by a single entity with leases of up to three years.

This is “a straightforward and clear definition the whole sector can get behind,” says Downes, who argues that there is a new spirit of flexibility and collaboration in the plans, which is very positive for the housing industry.

To find out more about BTR, look out for details of Property Week’s RESI 2017 conference held at Celtic Manor in Wales from 15-17 September, including a special session on ‘Re-inventing Renting: BTR at the front and centre of our broken housing market’.