Ascend Properties forecast Build to Rent completions to double by 2025

Ascend Properties forecast that Build to Rent completions are estimated to double by 2025.

London - Ascend Properties | BTR News

Build to Rent completions are estimated to double by 2025, according to a forecast from Build to Rent specialist – Ascend Properties.

Year on year completion trends

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of new Build to Rent completions reaching the market grew by 1%. 

The sector then gained serious momentum between 2018 and 2019, with new completions jumping by 54% on an annual basis. To put this momentum into perspective, new build completions – excluding Build to Rent – increased by just 6% during the same period.

YearBuild to Rent CompletionsAnnual Change (%)New Build Completions Exc Build to Rent
20178,174185,511
20188,2391%190,739
201912,66954%201,513
202010,158-20%144,522*
*estimate based on per quarter averages to date (England and NI), with average annual % changes from these applied where no 2020 data was available (Wales and Scotland)

With Covid causing havoc across much of the market in 2020, it’s no surprise that just 10,158 new Build to Rent completions have reached the market, resulting in a year on year decline of -20%. 

However, it’s estimated that this decline has been more pronounced across the rest of the new build sector with an -28% fall in completions for non-Build to Rent new builds, which once again highlights the strength of the Build to Rent sector in the current market. 

Overall sector growth

Despite this stutter in new completion levels, the overall size of the market continues to increase. Between 2017 and 2018, the cumulative total number of Build to Rent completions saw the sector grow by 36%. 

YearCumulative Build to Rent CompletionsAnnual Change (%)
2017 (Q4)22,684
2018 (Q4)30,92336%
2019 (Q4)43,59241%
2020 (Q4)53,75023%

Between 2018 and 2019, the Build to Rent sector grew by a further 41%. Despite the decline in new completions during 2020, the stock that has reached the market means the Build to Rent sector has grown by a further 23% cumulatively. 

Forecasted sector growth

Based on the best available data for the sector, Ascend forecasts that a further 73,535 Build to Rent completions should reach the market by the start of 2025. In addition to the existing 53,750 Build to Rent completions already within the market, this forecast could see total Build to Rent stock hit an estimated 127,285 completions.

“The Build to Rent sector is an increasingly important part of the market, and we see that trend continuing over the next five years.

“There’s a growing recognition that owning property may not be the norm in the future, as is already the case in numerous other European countries. In the UK’s most expensive regions such as London, many already rent for far longer than we’ve seen traditionally and while we remain a nation of aspirational homeowners, not everyone is as focussed on realising this aspiration.  

“Therefore it’s important that residents are able to live in high-quality properties fit for their needs. Build to Rent fits this gap perfectly, so it’s no surprise that the sector has seen an impressive level of growth in just a few short years, as well as a notable level of investment. 

“We’ve seen a number of big housebuilders and institutional investors shift focus towards the Build to Rent sector in recent years and it has become an integral part of forward planning where stock delivery is concerned. Those yet to realise this are likely to be playing catch up as the sector continues to build momentum in the coming years.”

Ged McPartlin, Managing Director, Ascend Properties

Below is Ascend’s forecast on Build to Rent completions by Q1 2025 – based on historic Build to Rent sector data and using an Exponential Smoothing Forecasting model (ESF), including interpolation, accounting for seasonality, and based on a 95% confidence interval.

Data DescriptionData Point
Total Build to Rent Completions to Date53,750
Forecasted Completions 2021 (Q1) to 2025 (Q1)73,535
Total Estimated Build to Rent Completions by 2025 (Q1)127,285