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  • Writer's pictureInvestment Synergy Team

Build to Rent - Lofty Aspirations OR Open to Interpretation ?

Build-to-rent is to build homes for rent, rather than for sale. Build-to-rent aims to become an established sector in the UK housing market to meet demand for high-quality, well-managed rental housing, for some adoptees BTR has a two-pronged approach: to provide an unparalleled tenancy experience, as well as ensuring the location and neighbourhood is prosperous and integrated – meaning that build-to-rent not only builds houses, but communities as well, this sounds somewhat idealistic, but hopefully achievable.


The build-to-rent model wants to provide an enhanced experience for tenants including:


  • Good quality homes aimed at general or targeted demographics, with longer term tenancies and predictable rents. They are mainly in larger towns and cities, and often situated near good public transport interchanges.


  • Communal facilities and social activities –residents will typically have access to generous communal facilities, such as resident lounges, gyms, roof terraces, guest rooms to hire and social activities.

  • Integrated, scheme-wide property management. Most developments will have staff on-site and they will be operating 24/7 to provide security and support.

  • Services – build-to-rent providers innovate in service delivery. Many are offering superfast broadband, helpful concierges, storage lockers and bike parking, and additional services such as car hire, dry cleaning and childcare.

Build-to-rent anchors on a thriving location with good local amenities and access to jobs, services and infrastructure. For investors, the surrounding neighbourhood is linked to investment gains whilst for providers it is linked to maintaining occupancy. This includes prioritising the provision of trees and green spaces, walking and cycling infrastructure, a strong local economy with diverse retail offerings and access to transport links.


The reality of finding sites and economics may water down this aspirational approach, or make it far too expensive for the ‘average’ renter….


The Build to Rent Map

The plots for 'build to rent schemes' across the UK are aimed at the institutional investment market and quoted at;

· 195,598 build-to-rent homes in the UK, including both London and the regions, of which 62,274 are complete, 39,524 under construction and 93,800 in planning

In London, there are a total of 84,682 units

Outside London, there are 110,916 units


17 Nov 2020

Legal & General launches new Suburban Build to Rent arm, as it looks to deliver 1,000 new family home a year Legal & General Capital (LGC) announces the launch of its new Suburban Build to Rent (SBTR) business which will develop large scale ‘single family’ rental communities in suburban locations across the UK.

The new housing arm will partner with UK housebuilders and undertake a direct delievry programme to bring forward over 1,000 homes each year from 2024. As an investment market which is forecast to grow in excess of 200bn, L&G aims to be the UK's first choice SBTR platform creating much needed, high quality family homes in areas connected to schools, transport infrastructure and key amenities.


Quote from L&G

"As we prepare for economic recovery, businesses like ours must continue to invest in our future. In light of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we deliver the houses that our society needs to address structural shortages across every dimension of the market. We are still falling far short of the over 300,000 new homes needed each year.

To support this growing need, Legal & General has deployed institutional capital at scale to revolutionise affordable housing, later living, the urban rental market, build to sell and to speed up construction through modular housing. It’s now time that we play a significant role in the suburban single family rental housing market. Legal & General have the will, the capital and the deep sector knowledge to invest and drive real impact."


1st July 2021

North Horsham will be Legal & General's first major multi-tenure site, bringing together its Suburban BTR (SBTR), affordable and modular housing platforms.


Legal & General announces that is has submitted plans to deliver its first SBTR scheme as part of its £1bn multi-tenure site in North Horsham. Bringing together its Build to Rent, Affordable Housing and Modular Homes businesses, Legal & General seeks to deliver 200 new homes which will be an exemplar in sustainable and affordable family accommodation, forming part of Legal & General’s 2,750 home master plan for North Horsham. The scheme will use modern methods of construction to accelerate the delivery of the site whilst minimising its environmental impact.

If granted planning permission, Legal & General’s £70 million scheme in North Horsham will deliver 124 Suburban Build To Rent homes, alongside 97 homes for social rent, affordable rent and shared ownership. The SBTR development is focused on lower cost housing for families, meeting the need identified in the council’s Local Plan, which states: “the cost of housing is high which can make it hard for [families] to stay or move back to the District’. The scheme will offer a high proportion of two and three bed houses which are most suited to families in the area.


Investment Synergy - This exciting new sector is starting with lofty ambitions and great intent. The need for affordable housing in the rental market is growing exponentially - will BTR meet the economic needs of the renter, and give the required return to the investor?






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