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Is suburban Build to Rent the future of our homes?

Adding pressure to an existing national housing shortage, Covid has shifted the priorities we have for our homes; with easy access to green space and comfortable working from home facilities now sitting far higher on the wish list. The result? Huge strain on the UK rental market. Could suburban Build to Rent homes be the answer?

18 January 2022 | 3 min read
Khumehra Mohammed
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The strain on the rental market

The UK’s national housing shortage is one of the biggest challenges the country faces. And during the last few years, our homes have become even more central to our lives with Covid sparking a shift in how we view and use them. We’ve found ourselves at home more than ever before, so unsurprisingly households are seeking greater space both inside and out. Access to working from home facilities and substantial green space has become increasingly important, yet affordability remains sparse. Particularly in urban areas.

This is transforming the rental market – what was once a market for young professionals has seen a demographic shift to include those aged 35-44 with a need for a mixture of tenures.

The cost associated with buying a home means renting can be a more realistic option for many families. And for investors, this provides the ideal climate to tap into the family rental market.

This is where the suburban Build to Rent model comes in. Ticking a lot of boxes for home seekers, it offers high-quality neighbourhoods, with green space and infrastructure to support commuting distances.

 

Birdseye view of suburban residential community with houses, streets, trees and park spaces

What’s the future of Build to Rent?

A recent report from Savills suggests the Build to Rent sector has remained resilient through adverse market conditions, sparking increased interest from investors. As there’s more investor backing for suburban Build to Rent assets, the market is expected to expand in the future. This is to meet both the demand for affordable rental housing and cater for the lifestyle trend adjustments caused by the pandemic. As an investment market that is forecast to grow to in excess of £200bn, many developers with suburban arms will look to utilise modern methods of construction to increase speed to market.

For example, Legal and General will be utilising their modular construction methods to develop 1000 new homes. Placefirst has been granted planning permission to create an £11 million SBTR scheme and Moda’s new division, Casa, is looking to develop 5000 new one-to-four bed family homes by 2025. What’s noticeable is that the suburban BTR market is now benefiting from equivalent levels of institutional investment as the urban BTR sector traditionally has done in the past, but at an accelerated rate.

*Source: https://bpf.org.uk/media/press-releases/green-light-for-record-breaking-number-of-new-build-to-rent-homes/