“Build to Rent” properties on the rise

The first annual figures published by the British Property Federation (BPF) on the number of homes specifically built to be rented out has shown that the numbers of these types of homes being built have risen by 30% to 117,893 during the past year.

Within this total, the number that had actually completed was 20,000 (an increase of 45% on the previous year) and the number under construction had increased by 47%. The BPF point out in the report that some of those currently marked for construction could slip into next years figures.

The growth is thought to have been influenced by the numbers of investors interested in this type of rental income. However, local authorities have also welcomed build to rent as this offers a steady income stream for them also, as well as allowing them to meet their housing targets. Developers and councils are increasingly partnering on these developments.

The research, which was carried out by real estate company Savilles on behalf of the BPF says that 17% of these schemes are houses and not just flats - filling the need for family homes. In London, apartments are now being built that meet the requirements of family homes with three or more bedrooms.

It is currently being argued that build to let developers should not be subject to the same rules on affordable housing as other developers. The usual rule is that 35% of all new large developments should be affordable housing. Councils are so far resisting this call, despite build to rent developers pointing out that they are unfairly penalised because they cannot compete with build for sale pricing.