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Graham Awards


Agency pushes Build To Rent advantages over Buy To Let

Knight Frank, in conjunction with Build To Rent operator Moda Living, has published a highly supportive report about BTR.

Creating what it’s called a BTR Resident Experience Index based on data from 247 BTR schemes, it claims to be a unique insight into what “best in class” looks like within the UK’s BTR market.

Researchers at Knight Frank identified 21 unique social and economic indicators or ‘features’, grouped into six categories, which they believe influence residents' experience of living within a BTR development. 


The six categories are quality of scheme, affordability, accessibility, sustainability, health and wellbeing, and tenant satisfaction, and include features such as amenity provision, walkability, energy costs, energy efficiency, air pollution and local crime levels.

Knight Frank claims that a clear link was found between higher quality, well-located and sustainable schemes and overall resident satisfaction. Analysis allowed Knight Frank to rank schemes out of 100, with those scoring highest (70 or over) being grouped in Band A, with bands reducing in 10-point increments down to Band E.

Lizzie Breckner, head of BTR research at Knight Frank, says: “The significance of resident experience in Build to Rent cannot be understated. Our research shows that resident experience drives operational performance by maximising occupancy and income while also reducing costs. This analysis establishes what best in class looks like by identifying commonalities between the top rated schemes. This information is game-changing; for the first time it allows us to accurately quantify the features that will ensure a scheme delivers top resident experience.”

By conducting its analysis, Knight Frank has been able to pinpoint the exact specifications that will deliver the highest satisfaction for residents. 

Breckner continues: “This is important because it can be used to inform site selection, design and management strategy. The results of the index are not set in stone as the elements relating to resident experience can change over time. We can use this analysis to understand how both individual schemes and the sector can improve.”

Knight Frank found that the optimum scheme includes seven amenities (such as lounges, gyms and terraces), an average unit size of 67 square metres, and a wide range of local amenities within a 15-minute walk – including good quality shops, healthcare services, and an average or five bus stops and one train station. 

High scoring schemes had an EPC rating of B or above, low carbon emissions and energy costs of below £4.70 psm on average.

Furthermore, a poll of Moda Living’s residents reveals that 70 per cent of residents value community, 77 per cent are willing to pay a premium for higher quality amenities and 90 per cent said that where they live has a big impact on their wellbeing.

  • Billy the Fish

    I wonder if they included the high carbon cost of creating and transporting the steel and concrete required for the new buildings when calculating sustainability. A good comparable would be converting an existing building which is surely what Govt should be insiting on in the first instance, unless of course global heating is a hoax and our children are all going to be just fine.
    BTR is possibly what Govt want in the long run as 100 companies would theoretically be easier to manage than 2 milion landlords. I am sure they felt the same way about water companies...

  • icon

    Full of euphemisms and jargon. Basically a puff for expensive flats.


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