Housing demand falls - Central Housing Group

Britain on brink of Build To Rent explosion says letting agency

New research suggests the UK is on the brink of a large-scale, commercially developed, owned and operated Build To Rent sector.

A report by jointly created by Strutt & Parker, Stanhope and Network Homes – called Housing Futures: Urban Renters – considers the emerging British Build To Rent sector in the light of similar developments in Hong Kong, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the US.

For the research, Stanhope – which recently formed an alliance with Network Homes to deliver BTR across Greater London – approached Strutt & Parker to analyse the profile of tenant demand and the main tenant groups that operate within the rental market.

“We’re not talking about Generation Rent – we’re now talking about Every Generation Rent. The UK private rental market is going through a period of sustained growth, doubling in size to 5.4 million from 2001 to 2014, a trend which only looks set to continue” according to Stephanie McMahon, head of research at Strutt & Parker.

“Some 48 per cent of those who responded to our Urban Renters survey had been renting the same property for at least the last two years, with 24 per cent of tenants anticipating renting as a family in the future” she says.

MacMahon says a growing group of renters is making the choice for rental over ownership and enjoying the flexibility it provides.

“While the aspiration to own is still a key motivation for the majority of households, a preference for renting is starting to surface, with nine per cent of respondents in Greater London preferring to rent [over owning]. We seem to be on the brink of becoming a rental nation.”

Strutts says the private rented sector has grown by 82 per cent over the past 10 years, surpassing the social rented sector in 2012/13 to become the second largest tenure.

The separate Halifax 2015 Generation Rent survey showed that between 2012 and 2015, for those aged between 20 and 45, there was a one per cent decline in home ownership, a two per cent decline in likely first-time buyers and a three per cent increase in those who did not wish to own.

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