• Kevin Murphy

British Parliament: MPs Support Build-to-Rent

New research by The British Property Federation (BPF) shows that 75% of MPs, Labour and Conservatives, now support build-to-rent to help ease the chronic shortage of housing in Britain.

The build-to-rent option was considered to be the best method with expectations that this could help housing supply over the next five years.

The report states:

‘Seven in ten MPs (72%) now report this, the highest among all forms of housing

tested in the survey – and this has increased year on year since testing began (62% in 2016 and 66% in 2017).’

Cross party support has been good news for the build-to-rent sector but support by Labour MPs has decreased from 74% in 2017 to 67% in 2018.

Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate Policy, British Property Federation:

“Cross-party support for build-to-rent is welcome, particularly as the growing sector has only begun to demonstrate its potential contribution to tackling the UK’s housing crisis.”

“It’s truly significant that a higher proportion of MPs from both major parties are more confident in the sector’s capacity to grow the size of its contribution to housing supply, outstripping levels of confidence reported in any other housing sector.”

“The sector has been growing over the past five years without any form of planning blueprint from government, but this is now changing. The government’s recently revised National Planning Policy Framework now ensures local authorities across the country will identify their local rental housing need and it explains how to treat a planning application from the build-to-rent sector.”

Savills and BPF report that the number of build-to-rent homes that are in construction, planning and now completed is up 30% in the past year.

The number of build-to-rent properties in all phase of development with high-quality and professionally managed is at 117,893 throughout the UK. For 2017 the number of homes completed in the 1Q was at 90,761.

Completed homes for the build-to-rent sector has increased by 45% from 14,371 to 20,863 for the same period.

The Financial Times reports that the length of tenancy for the UK buy-to-let market has risen from 3.5 years in 2010 to 2011 to 4.3 years in the period of 2015 and 2016. Three quarters of private rental tenants are signing rental agreements at six or 12 months leases.

Labour has planned to make three-year tenancy agreements available in the private rental sector with caps on rent increases tied to inflation. Others point out this is not needed astenancy is already at three years and those renters who wish not to move on once their leases expire is not because of the landlord.

Richard Donnell, Hometrack director says in the FT:

“The bottom line is landlords aren’t interested in turning decent paying tenants out of their properties.”

“If you’re a landlord investing for the long run, you don’t want to incur voids. You want a tenant who keeps paying the rent.”

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