UK Build-to-Rent homes increase by a fifth year-on-year

The Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector continues to grow at pace, with the number of completed homes increasing by a fifth in the past twelve months, according to new research by the British Property Federation.

Rozi Jones
19th April 2022
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"Completed homes increasing by a fifth in a single year is a significant leap and suggests the sector is making a strong contribution to UK housing delivery."

The analysis, conducted at the end of first quarter, shows a total of 72,668 BTR homes have now been delivered in the UK, up from 60,965 a year ago, with completions in the past year evenly spread across London (5,802 homes) and regional cities (5,901).

The construction and planning pipeline suggests market growth will be sustained, with a total of 46,304 homes under construction at the end of the first quarter – up 14% year-on-year – and units in the planning pipeline 11% higher than twelve months ago.

The research, which is undertaken in partnership with Savills, also highlights how BTR developments are evolving, with completed schemes delivering an average of 140 units, while those under construction averaging 243 homes and projects in planning averaging 308 units.

Ian Fletcher, director of real estate policy at the British Property Federation, commented: “Our analysis for the first quarter of the year underlines just how rapidly the UK Build-to-Rent sector is expanding. Completed homes increasing by a fifth in a single year is a significant leap and suggests the sector is making a strong contribution to UK housing delivery.

“Long-term demand for rental homes means the sector’s prospects remain very positive. One thing to watch in coming quarters will be turbulence caused by build cost inflation, however, the sector’s planning pipeline continues to grow, and we are seeing a shift towards larger-scale development as investors recognise the acute shortage of high-quality homes in many cities and the need to intensify land use in and around densely populated areas.”

Guy Whittaker, residential research associate at Savills, added: “It is clear that Build-to-Rent is already making an important contribution to national housing delivery. Expansion into new locations can help address the shortages of rental stock seen up and down the country, while the growth of single-family housing provision, an area of chronic undersupply, is the next stage of growth for the sector. New rental supply in both urban and suburban markets have the potential to sustain housing delivery volumes once Help to Buy comes to an end on 31 March 2023 and to be a vital source of high-quality housing.”

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