According to a recent report of the British Property Federation (BPF), the Build-to-Rent sector in the UK is currently 95,918 units strong. Not all of these homes are completed units though; the figure includes homes under construction and homes awaiting planning permissions. The latest report indicates a whopping 37.4 percent growth in the sector as the Build-to-Rent sector comprised of only 69,824 homes by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Therefore, the progress of the Build-to-Rent category is being demonstrated by not just the proximity to the 100,000 units milestone, but also by the rate at which the sector is marching towards the achievement of this landmark.
With 54,978 units, the majority of the Build-to-Rent units (completed + under construction + waiting planning permissions) in the UK are in London. But, the number of units under construction in the Build-to-Rent sector is 12,316 in the regions, while London has only 11,696 units currently under construction.
The British Property Federation’s Director of Real Estate Policy, Mr. Ian Fletcher says:
“Our data allows us to track Build-to-Rent’s growth across the UK, and ensures we are as transparent as possible when communicating the sector’s current and projected contribution to the country’s housing supply. Correcting the supply-demand imbalance in the UK is fundamental to addressing the housing crisis, and we have demonstrated that Build-to-Rent has much to offer.”
“We are pleased by the Mayor of London’s continued support of the sector and his recognition of its capacity to deliver much-needed homes. We look forward to the government’s formal response to the national Housing White Paper, which formally recognised Build-to-Rent in the National Planning Policy Framework. We need all housing tenures to be fully supported by the right policy framework if we are going to reverse the damage caused by years of undersupply.”
Though the data from British Property Federation’s report suggests that the Build-to-Rent sector will be able to largely salvage UK’s housing market, it is alarming that only just above one percent of the investments made in the Build-to-Rent sector in the UK are in Scotland. The implementation of a new Private Residential Tenancy regime in Scotland from 1st December 2017 is being viewed skeptically by investors and this could be one of the reasons behind the slow rate of growth of the Build-to-Rent sector in the region. The Scottish Government seems to have realized the significance of the Build-to-Rent category as Kevin Stewart, Scotland’s Minister for Local Government and Housing says:
“Build to Rent is an important part of the Scottish Government’s approach to growing and improving the private rented sector.”