New housing minister Lee Rowley has spoken out in favour of Build To Rent.
At the inaugural Build To Rent Innovators conference - organisation by the National House Building Council and the British Property Federation - Rowley told an audience of some 100 developers, investors and operators that he recognised the crucial role BTR is playing in helping relieve housing shortages.
He also touched upon the government’s role in balancing regulation with the pro-growth, pro-development stance it takes to house building and impressed the importance of housing quality, as well as volume; he encouraged high quality residential development in all sectors and expressed his support for all delivery routes to high standard homes.
Other speakers came from Savills and NTR operators Sigma Capital, Socius and Related Argent.
NHBC spokesperson Niki Kyriacou says: “The profile of BTR in the UK property market is rising and the evening brought together leading stakeholders to hear the latest developments in the sector. BTR is facing challenges on many fronts, from the heightened regulatory environment to the increased cost of borrowing, but it continues to grow and thrive.”
And Ian Fletcher of the British Property Federation adds: “All the delegates are innovators in their own right, and the hard work that has gone into the BTR sector over the past decade has been a privilege to witness. The BTR sector is dedicated to building a better private rented sector and is conscious of wider placemaking and social value creation. It's generating new opportunities for small businesses and harnessing new technologies to enhance its offer, but most importantly, it’s a sector very highly rated by its customers.”
Last month a report suggested that London’s Build To Rent sector is being held back by a “stark inconsistency” from local councils in the capital.
The report, by national consultants Lichfields, says planning policy across all London boroughs is mixed and “could do far more” to support the delivery of more BTR units.
It says a key finding highlights a stark inconsistency in how BTR is addressed in Local Plans: of the 35 local planning authorities in London, 46 per cent make no reference at all to BTR in their plans.
Some 41 per cent of all bespoke BTR developments secured via specific planning applications are in just four boroughs - Brent, Newham, Ealing and Enfield.