Latest research puts the average house cost at almost eight times average earnings – an all-time record. It not surprising, therefore, that the proportion of people living in the private rented sector has doubled since 2000. Rightly too, much attention is focus on Build-to-Rent and how this model can help increase the supply of new homes across the country.
Evidence gathered in a report published by the British Property Federation and Savills found that “on large urban sites, well-connected to employment markets, Build-to-Rent can accelerate housebuilding three-fold”. In their report, “Unlocking benefits and potential of Build-to-Rent”, the report cited that if this accelerated housebuilding rate was achieved on just one-fifth of the large sites currently being built that would equate to the additional delivery of new homes by 6 per cent.
With high prices and rising rents, quietly government attention through the recent Housing White Paper focuses in part on Build-to-Rent as one solution to rolling back 20 years of housing undersupply. With major in-roads to establish the Build-to-Rent model made as early as 2012, and with support through the £3.5bn Private Rented Sector Housing Guarantee Scheme, and the £1bn Build-to-Rent fund. This financial stimulus, has, without doubt, increased investment in building homes for private rent, but as an industry, there is the opportunity to go much further and drive up supply.
Stimulating local economies through Build-To-Rent
Here at Rund, we are working with lenders, institutional investors and capital market participants on their products for rent, working with them to deliver stable, long-term frameworks for their investments in the Build-to-Rent sector.
Through government support and major institutional investment, the overall housing supply can be driven up and the choice and standards for people living in the private rented sector increased. Through our own involvement in Build-to-Rent schemes, we are seeing schemes being built out more quickly, especially through the use of modern methods of construction, and helping to stimulate local economies by attracting a skilled labour force to the local area.
The right homes, in the right location
There’s definitely more to do to increase and evolve the Build-to-Rent sector, and we would certainly advocate some of the recommendations in the BPF and Savills report, such as encouraging planning preference for build-to-rent on large sites and the government extending their debt guarantee for the private rented sector. We firmly believe that the sector can assist in increasing housing supply, delivering the right homes, in the right location and be part of a proactive solution so that the door of the housing market is not shut in the face of a whole generation.