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Build to Rent growth a product of changing Britain, says Wise Living

The significant expected growth of Build to Rent (BTR) homes in the UK is a result of a changing society, according to Wise Living director Paul Staley.

According to research by the British Property Federation and Savills, there is set to be huge growth for this fast-growing sub-sector of the rental market over the next decade, up from 76,800 to more than 380,000.

And Staley believes this growth is reflective of the changes taking place in British society at present.


“With the ongoing housing crisis, interest rate hikes on mortgages and an increased pressure on raising housing standards that are squeezing private landlords, professionally managed BTR homes are becoming more essential in the UK as the buy-to-let industry struggles to keep up with demand as home ownership becomes more unattainable,” he said.

“People need a place to call home and it looks increasingly like BTR homes are poised to fill the gap within the housing market and will take a leading role. So, while the origins of BTR were student accommodation and city centre apartment schemes, this will expand into the rise of BTR single family homes (SFH).”

As a result, he said the predictions that SFH are anticipated to increase to 18% of all BTR stock from 12% today is not a surprise. 

“More people, right across the UK – not just in cities – want to rent a family home,” he added.

Staley also believes this change in the UK housing landscape is influencing the behaviours of property stakeholders who are, in turn, responding to these trends.

“For investors and housing developers, this has meant a shift in the types of portfolios they are creating,” he claimed. “It makes sense to diversify and spread both the risk and opportunity. They are doing this by looking outside of the more established BTR markets and into SFH in suburban towns.”

“In fact, as the UK follows European trends and continues to change from a buying generation into a renting culture, it is highly likely that SFH will outpace other types of BTR housing eventually. At Wise Living we have seen this demand in-action, with over 15 schemes delivered in the past few years and a healthy pipeline of single family BTR developments.”

Staley said that, as the industry evolves, this will inevitably increase the number of BTR specialists who will enter the market. However, he believes this needs to be approached with caution.

“The industry has grown considerably over the last decade, but its success is dependent on the knowledge of the BTR specialists who need to guide investors, developers and local authorities in making the best decisions,” he continued.

“Everything from location, housing layouts and types must be looked at and specifications developed to maximise return on investment, while also providing housing that is both high quality and value for money.” 

He concluded: “The earlier the conversation when it comes to coordinating value for BTR opportunities makes the process more efficient, less risky and speeds up return on investment.” 


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