London leads the way with build to rent; delivering twice as much as the rest of the country
Emma Kennedy - November 9, 2015

Figures released show that Build to Rent development in the capital is over double that in the rest of the UK, with over 14,276 units in planning, completed or under construction in London compared to 7,112 in the rest of the country.

The figures have been compiled by the British Property Federation (BPF), which has launched an interactive map tracking Build to Rent development in the UK. It shows that there are at least 3,404 completed units in London, compared to 240 in the rest of the UK.

The organisation has published an accompanying manifesto for the Build to Rent sector, in which it urges government to follow the lead of the Greater London Authority (GLA), and change national planning policy to stress that the appropriate affordable housing on new Build to Rent developments should be discounted market rent. This helps development viability, but also allows the investor to manage the ‘affordable’ and ‘market rented’ elements as one, in a tenure-blind manner.

The BPF has long championed the role that Build to Rent has to play in expanding housing delivery, attracting long-term investment that has the potential to significantly boost housing supply.

Recent research has shown that Build to Rent can deliver homes at 2.5 times the speed of developments for sale, and that there is £10bn of firm commitments and as much as £30bn that the sector has ready to invest this Parliament. The £10bn of investment identified for Build to Rent would create around £28bn of wider economic benefit.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, commented:

“It has felt for a long time that Build to Rent has been on the cusp of becoming a sector in its own right. Today, we are proud to show that the sector has really taken off, and it is great to see how many fantastic projects are either underway or completed, and that residents have quality rented homes.

There is more that can be done to encourage the sector to grow, however. The GLA has paved the way for Build to Rent, introducing both ambitious targets and supplementary planning guidance, and the map launched today shows that this has really paid off. Government has everything to gain from encouraging this sector, which will attract significant institutional investment into UK housing supply, deliver new homes quickly, and drive up standards in the private rented sector, and we hope to see it continue to support it.”