Research by the British Property Federation shows that there are now 148,046 build-to-rent homes complete, under construction or in planning across the UK.
This represents a jump of some 20 per cent against the same period last year.
The number of completed units rose by 31 per cent over the same period, to 34,840.
A statement from the BPF says: “The sector continues to go from strength to strength, with the build-to-rent pipeline growing considerably in the year to Q3 2019. This is highlighted by the number of units in planning, which has soared by 23 per cent to 77,446.”
The average size of BTR developments is also growing.
In Q3 2019, the average size of each completed scheme was 133 units, this increases to 245 units for the schemes under construction, while the average size of schemes in the planning system is higher still at 325 units.
The BPF says the larger size of schemes underlines the growing importance of BTR in increasing UK residential supply and meeting government house building targets.
Geographically, growth of the sector is spread evenly between London and the regions, with both areas seeing total growth of 20 per cent. The number of BTR units inside the capital and in the regions is also similar at 63,200 and 60,337 respectively.
However, in terms of units completed the regions saw the biggest increase, with a significant rise of 41 per cent over the year to Q3 2019.
Savills research director Jacqui Daly, who helped compile the figures for the BPF, says: “As individual households increasingly cannot afford to access the housing market, particularly once Help To Buy is withdrawn, so demand for the quality rented homes the sector provides will rise. Build To Rent already makes a significant contribution to housing delivery, and we project this will increase to one in five new homes as more and more people rely on renting.
“This will change the housebuilder model, with bulk sales to investors growing their share of housing delivery. In our opinion, in 10 years, the customer lists of housebuilders will see pension funds and life insurers alongside first-time buyers and second steppers.
“Rather than shouldering the full burden of risk, housebuilders will act as master contractors, forging long-term partnerships with landowners and investors.”