Build to Rent growth in regions begins to outpace London

New analysis published today by the British Property Federation shows Build to Rent sector growth in regional cities begins to outpace London.

The Jewellery Quarter clock, Birmingham where there are a number of Build to Rent scheme's in the city | BTR News
The Jewellery Quarter clock, Birmingham. Photo © Jeremy Bolwell (cc-by-sa/2.0)

New analysis published today (17 January 2022) by the British Property Federation (BPF) shows that the Build to Rent sector in the regions begins to outpace London. The pipeline grew by 8% in 2021, with construction in regional cities significantly outpacing London. 

Undertaken in partnership with Savills, the quarterly research highlights that there are now 70,785 completed Build to Rent units in the UK – a 26% increase year-on-year. There are also 141,215 units under construction or at the planning stage – up from 131,190 in 2020.

“The Build to Rent sector continues to expand rapidly and in 2021 we started to see signs that delivery across the regions is beginning to outpace London.

“Build to Rent is not just about increasing housing provision it is a major economic driver, helping attract and retain skilled workers and serving as a catalyst for urban regeneration. The strong growth of the Build to Rent sector across the regions will support the Government’s levelling up initiative and help revitalise town and city centres.”

Ian Fletcher, Director of Real Estate Policy, British Property Federation 
Q4 2020 and Q4 2021 BTR units | BTR News
Source: Savills, British Property Federation, Molior, MHCLG.

At Q4 2021 there were 26,820 units under construction across regional cities – a 27% increase year-on-year. During 2021, construction started on 13,527 units across regional cities – which is over three times the total number in London, and 47% higher than the three year average from 2019 to 2021. The construction pipeline in London shrunk -15% in 2021.

Q4 2020 to Q4 2021 Regional/London BTR units increase (%)
Source: Savills, British Property Federation, Molior, MHCLG.

Build to Rent has been earmarked for an additional 29 local authorities since March 2020  – so 38% of local authorities now have Build to Rent in their pipeline, up from 20% in Q1 2017. 39% of local authorities are now also planning Build to Rent, more than double the number in Q1 2017 (18%).

UK investments in the sector also hit a record high in 2021, overtaking 2020 as the previous record year, with the boom set to continue in 2022.

“The geographic spread of Build to Rent shows that many more local authorities are beginning to understand the need for new rental stock and planning consents are rising as a consequence. 

“At the same time, Build to Rent is becoming hugely competitive for investors, with a record level of capital deployed in the sector in 2021. If investors are able to find markets and stock to invest in, we expect delivery in the sector to double in size within a few years.”

Jacqui Daly, Director, Residential Research, Savills