Delivering Build to Rent: Are you ready?

The UK economy has never been in greater need of high-quality, efficiently managed private housing. But this is nothing new. 2012 saw the publication of the Montague Review as a result of a long-standing housing deficit in the UK. There was already a distinct awareness that the existing house-builder model simply was not building at sufficient scale to bridge the gap. Meanwhile, in the background, institutions were quietly analysing residential property performance, realising the potential wealth of opportunity in the sector.

But without stock to invest in, risk remained a significant factor. Added to that, length of tenure in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) was shifting. Issues such as affordability and mortgage availability, signalled a decline in the number of those aspiring to own their own home. Fast forward to today and the stigma around privately renting is fading as it is no longer considered a tenure of last resort. It is a tenure of choice with individuals, couples and even families establishing long-term homes in the sector. As a result, they require a greater level of consideration and protection from the industry.

Enter Build to Rent.

The UK Government launched Build to Rent (BTR), as part of a range of initiatives, to bolster the amount of properties available to rent in the private rented sector. And what began with investors perceiving demand and showing support for the concept, was followed by developers commencing work near key London transport hubs. Today, it is entering a third phase that sees organisations begin to understand the significance of operations - including building management - from the outset, as customers start to arrive in greater numbers and the model evolves. Five years since launch, more than 15,000 BTR properties have been built while another 67,000 homes are either under construction or in the pipeline.

It is clear, then, that BTR is gaining in force, offering an ideal model for scalable, first-class housing, tenure security and community engagement. But getting it right will require expertise, forward thinking and perhaps, even, compromise from all parties involved.

So the question is, are you ready to deliver?

Click here to read the FirstPort briefing report.

September 2017