Build to Rent is the latest buzz word in the UK housing market. The market for private rented residential schemes that are specifically designed and built for rent rather than sale is growing rapidly. What is specific about this new sector and how do sustainable timber products fit in?
The British Property Federation estimates there are almost 120,000 Build to Rent units already built, under construction or in planning across the UK; a 30% increase over the last year.
Mostly, they are owned by institutional investors who require a long-term rental growth and they are often managed by specialist operators. However, public sector organisations such as housing associations and local authorities are also entering the market. Their aim is to help relieve the housing shortage in their area while also generating revenue to fund further housing developments.
Typically, Build to Rent schemes target young professionals, students and downsizers who buy into the lifestyle and convenience of well-built properties with a superior fit and finish, that are close to local amenities.
Build to Rent developers and investors are in the market for the long haul; choosing higher-end materials both within the building’s fabric and the fit and finish that will stand the test of time. This is in stark contrast to those properties built for sale where cheaper materials and finishes are frequently specified to maximise profits for the developer.
We caught up with Ashley Perry, Build to Rent consultancy director at asset management firm LIV Consult and Oliver Booth, partner at property consultancy Gardiner & Theobald, to discuss some of the challenges faced by developers in the Build to Rent sector, to examine some of the opportunities for the timber products and to ask how they see the Build to Rent market shaping up over the coming years.
Good examples for use of engineered timber in Build to Rent and Private Rental Schemes are