The number of build-to-rent homes under construction in the UK has leapt by 40 per cent as national policy guidelines have turbo-charged the sector.

There are now more than 43,000 build-to-rent homes in development, compared with just 31,000 at the end of 2017, with a further 66,000 at planning stages. Almost 30,000 were completed in 2018, against 22,700 in 2017.

It is not only the quantity, but the quality and diversity of build-to-rent that has changed: 15 per cent of schemes in progress include family houses, rather than simply high-rise blocks. This change of emphasis follows the government urging developers to provide family-friendly tenancies, with greater stability and predictability for renters.

For the first time, the level of development in the UK regions has caught up with that in London – there are just over 19,000 homes under construction in London, compared with 24,000 homes elsewhere.

Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate Policy at British Property Federation said: ‘With the revised National Planning Policy Framework, asking local authorities to identify how many new rental homes their respective areas need, the future should remain bright for build-to-rent. This has never before been enshrined in UK planning policy and will only add to the growing number of local authorities that are seeing the benefits of build-to-rent in adding much-needed housing supply across the UK.’#

One of the prime areas for build-to-rent is Ashford in Kent, where GRE Assets has an important new development.