Build-to-rent can help us all level up

Rebecca Taylor, Managing Director of BTR at Long Harbour Ltd, 01 December 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has raised a number of fundamental questions about our economy. On an individual level, it has also forced us to adapt the way we live and work. For many of us, our home has become our place of work. And vice versa.

This throws up lots of exciting challenges around how homes are designed and used. But it also presents us with an opportunity to reflect on our country’s preoccupation with homeownership. As we reflect on how we live, is it time that we acknowledge what renting is for many people: a lifestyle choice.

The build-to-rent (BTR) sector has been revolutionising the housing market, pushing boundaries on design, placing a huge emphasis on quality, fostering a sense of community with new residents and the existing community, and delivering an enhanced level of service and professional management.

This change has been taking place for some time, but the pandemic has shone a new light on the sector, its benefits and how it has supported residents in what has been a challenging time for all.

This is underpinned by the investment model. The long-term appeal of the BTR market has allowed the sector to remain resilient in the face of the pandemic and support its residents. To a large degree, it was not affected by the construction downturn or economic climate in the way that other residential and commercial sectors were.

Not only is this good for investors, it’s good for housing delivery as there has been a marked increase in appetite for the sector from both domestic and international capital.

According to the BPF, the BTR sector now has over 170,000 homes in the pipeline – with over 50,000 homes completed.[1] This will only accelerate, with 2020 set to be a record year for investment into BTR stock in the UK - set to top £4bn[2] - meaning more high quality homes across the country.

And it really is across the whole country: more than 60% of BTR homes on large schemes of 75 units or over are due to be built outside of London[3].

The Government has made a whole host of commitments – to get Britain building, to level up the regions, and to deliver homes across the country. Not only is the BTR sector resilient, it has shown the crucial role in can play all three of these areas.







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