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Build to Rent offers plenty of room for growth

Build-to-Rent (BTR) remains a fast-growing sector with thousands of developments currently under construction, and this trend looks set to continue in 2023 and beyond.

The largest ever analysis of BTR in England shows that BTR has a broad and evolving customer base similar to the wider private rented sector and is a secure and cost-effective option for today’s renters.

In its third year, the Who Lives in Build-to-Rent? Report from the British Property Federation (BPF), Dataloft, BusinessLDN, and the UK Apartment Association (UKAA) analysed 122 schemes in England totalling over 40,000 residents in over 19,000 homes, representing over 25% of total completed BTR homes in the UK.

The urban component of the data, constituting 32,716 residents and 15,274 homes across 67 schemes, was benchmarked with tenants across the wider private rented sector. Amidst a highly volatile rental market, BTR was shown to offer the option of long secure leases, with 92 per cent of BTR schemes offering up to three-year leases, and a quarter – 25% – offering leases of more than three years. Close to a quarter (23%) of BTR tenants are currently in tenancies of three years, and over half – 53% – of leases were renewed over the last year.

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According to the research, three-quarters (73%) of residents living in BTR accommodation can access a co-working or meeting space, suiting new ways of working. Outdoor space is a core component of BTR, a much-coveted amenity, with 81% of BTR schemes having a shared garden or roof terrace. Nearly two-thirds (58%) of residents also have access to a gym, and a third (30%) fitness studios.

Also, 24-hour security, available at 69% of schemes, and concierge (85% of schemes) and parcel storage (79%) all add to the experience of living in a secure home and community.

The proportion of monthly income families, couples, and sharers spend on BTR homes is less than in the wider private rented sector, with singles paying only slightly more. BTR also adds value with its extensive range of amenities captured within the monthly rent – costs, such as gym membership or studio passes, that many renters incur separately when renting from private landlords.

The profile of renters living in BTR and the wider private rented sector is similar across age bands, with 87% of BTR and 85% of private renters aged 44 or under. A similar percentage of renters are single occupiers in both parts of the rental market. A higher proportion of the wider PRS is let to families than BTR, but this constituency is now a key target of BTR provision, with the growth of the single-family sector (low-rise individual family homes for rent).

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Ian Fletcher, director of policy, British Property Federation, said: “This research continues to reinforce that Build-to-Rent homes cater to a diverse tenant base, comparable to that found in the private rented sector. BTR is delivering well-designed and professionally managed homes that provide value for money for tenants with its extensive range of amenities and long secure leases.

“BTR has rapidly established itself as an important and growing part of the housing market and continues to evolve to provides homes for a wide range of customers. Its diversification out of core cities and into single family housing demonstrates its increasing appeal and ability to cater to housing need.”

Brendan Geraghty, CEO, UK Apartment Association, commented, “This is amongst the most mature data available for BTR across England and points to a stabilising and predictable customer profile who are enjoying living within BTR communities. The report illustrates that the BTR product offering appeals to all home seekers and with its focus on quality, it’s clear that BTR is an increasingly popular and attractive choice amongst renters. Happy customers stay longer with the data indicating that BTR is lending a helping hand to create happy homes for all.”

Sandra Jones, Managing Director, Dataloft, added: “This research comes at a critical time in the UK rental market. Cities across the UK are faced with a shortage of homes to let which is putting acute upward pressure on rents and at a time when the cost of living is also rising. This report helps explain the important role that Build-to-Rent can play in alleviating shortage by showing how it is already meeting the needs of renters from a wide range of income brackets and age groups. While Build-to-Rent remains a small proportion of the total rental stock, its contribution is growing fast and its potential to relieve some of the pressure on supply is evident.”

By Marc Da Silva

Source: Property Industry Eye

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Build-to-rent sector up 20% in Q3

The build-to-rent sector grew by 20% year-on-year to 148,000 homes in Q3, research from the British Property Federation (BPF) has revealed.

This includes all build-to-rent homes completed, under construction or in planning across the UK.

The number of units in planning has increased by 23% alone to 77,446.

The average size of build-to-rent developments is also growing.

In Q3 2019, the average size of each completed build-to-rent scheme was 133 units, this increases to 245 units for the schemes under construction, while the average size of schemes in the planning system is higher still at 325 units.

Geographically, growth of the sector is spread evenly between London and the regions, with both areas seeing total growth of 20%.

The number of build-to-rent units inside the capital and in the regions is also similar at 63,200 and 60,337 respectively.

However, in terms of units completed the regions saw the biggest increase, with a significant rise of 41% over the year to Q3 2019.

Ian Fletcher, director of real estate policy at the British Property Federation, said: “The build-to-rent sector continues to attract investment and deliver much needed homes.

“Not only do we have an impressive 31% growth in completions between Q3 2018 and Q3 2019, but the pipeline of new projects is also strengthening.

“Right across the country we are seeing growth in the sector, allowing people to access high quality, institutionally-managed rental properties.

“With both Labour and the Conservatives prioritising house building during their recent party conferences, our data shows build-to-rent is making an important contribution to housing delivery and often on difficult to develop and large urban sites.”

Jacqui Daly, director of Savills Residential Research who conducted the research for the BPF, added: “As individual households increasingly cannot afford to access the housing market, particularly once help to buy is withdrawn, so demand for the quality rented homes the sector provides will rise.

“Built-to-rent already makes a significant contribution to housing delivery, and we project this will increase to one in five new homes as more and more people rely on renting.

“This will change the housebuilder model, with bulk sales to investors growing their share of housing delivery.

“In our opinion, in 10 years, the customer lists of housebuilders will see pension funds and life insurers alongside first-time buyers and second steppers.

“Rather than shouldering the full burden of risk, housebuilders will act as master contractors, forging long-term partnerships with landowners and investors.”

By Ryan Fowler

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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Build to rent market is better value for money for renters

Considering renting? Build to rent developments are popping up all over the UK, with the Government encouraging the expansion of build to rent, while making buy to let more difficult. Some worry that this new emphasis will make renting even more unaffordable for Generation Rent – but how do build to rent homes stand up to the traditional rental sector in reality?

Working out how much more expensive build to rent homes really are has to take into account the quality of this housing (often much, much better than the private rental sector accommodation), as well as the many additional costs that are often included in the rent, such as bills, gym memberships, internet, and even parking.

Once these benefits have been taken into account, build to rent properties turn out to be no more than 15 per cent higher than the average cost of comparable cost of renting in the buy to let market – £868 on average compared to £752.

In some parts of country, there is virtually no difference in renting a traditional flat or a build to rent one; in Manchester, for example, renting a flat in the gorgeous Way of Life development (below), which features a spectacular gym and swimming pool is actually £2 cheaper than the average cost of an ordinary flat in the same area. Even renting in a build to rent development in London can work out cheaper – a flat in the JLL development in Greenwich (top) will come in 18 per cent cheaper than equivalent flats in the area.

This value-for-money ratio does not hold up everywhere, though. Renting in a build to rent development in Salford will set you back 14 per cent more than the area’s average; Lewisham’s build to rents are 35 per cent more expensive, and if you want to rent in a built to rent in Tower Hamlets, be prepared to fork out a whopping 44 per cent more in rent than the area’s average. Again, although these figures seem very high, they partly reflect the difference between the amenities on offer and what’s generally available in the area. Given how hard it can be to find a property with a garden, private parking, and a gym in central London, for example, the price comes to seem more justified (if still very high).

Tom Gatzen, co-founder of Ideal Flatmate, who have exclusive listing rights for all UK build-to-rent properties, comments, ‘Build to rent has come under scrutiny due to the higher rental costs, but when you consider the additional benefits there is a very strong argument that these developments provide much better value for money.

‘For a start, they are new builds so the quality is very good and they have a much more professional management structure in place to support tenants when compared to the traditional communication chain of the tenant, letting agent and landlord.

‘They also offer a lot more for your money in terms of amenities included in the price, with many providing Wi-Fi, bills and a gym as standard. This comes on top of other benefits such as parking and private gardens and while you pay more as a lump rental sum for these benefits, the convenience of paying for everything in one go is something that appeals massively to today’s generation of tenants.

‘We are crying out for more rental stock across the UK and the number of us reliant on the private rental sector is only going to increase. Build to rent provides a great solution when it comes to providing more homes at scale and while change will always be met by a degree of criticism by the industry, we must surely focus on the need of the tenant first and embrace anything that helps provide more roofs over heads.’


Source: Real Homes