Increased awareness for BTR needed among MPs

Build to Rent knowledge and awareness low among MPs as just 11% would prioritise the sector, new research from Cavendish finds.

Research from Cavendish and YouGov highlights the need for increased awareness and knowledge around Build to Rent for MPs | BTR News
Research from Cavendish and YouGov highlights the need for increased awareness and knowledge around Build to Rent for MPs.

Research conducted by communications consultancy Cavendish Consulting and YouGov reveals that just 11% of UK MPs would prioritise the development of new Build to Rent homes in their constituencies. The research comes as the country is still continually struggling through an undersupply of rental homes despite the high demand.

Cavendish asked MPs across all parties about their constituency housing focuses and most strikingly, Build to Rent homes ranked only seventh out of eight listed housing options in terms of priority. 63% of Conservative MPs prioritised private sale housing with Labour MPs more likely to prioritise council housing and social rent homes. 

The survey found that only 14% of Conservatives and 10% of Labour MPs would prioritise Build to Rent homes in their constituency. With the high likelihood of Labour being the next party of Government, according to statistics, this highlights a huge concern for the sector.

“Our research shows there is clearly a lack of prioritising the development of Build to Rent homes at a national level. Every day there are stories emerging from the private rented sector – where people are paying expensive rent for a property that doesn’t meet their needs. Not only is this impacting them financially, but also their mental and physical wellbeing. Compared to some of the rental market which can be poor quality and sometimes badly managed, Build to Rent provides good quality, safe, and sustainable rented homes to suit a wide range of income levels. We know that MPs want the best for their constituents and communities, therefore there’s clearly more the property industry can do to communicate the benefits of Build to Rent.”

Max Camplin, Executive Director, Cavendish

While over half of all Build to Rent homes are in London – and with demand for rental properties in the capital remaining high – the research also revealed that not one London-based MP considered Build to Rent to be a top priority, presenting further barriers and challenges for the industry. 

Having been priced-out of obtaining a mortgage, many people are experiencing soaring rents for properties that are often inadequate. As a result, numerous property developers are investing in Build to Rent homes, to provide communities with more options that are attainable. 

According to Business LDN, 28% of those with a salary income band between £26,000 and £38,000 are Build to Rent residents. When MPs of Cavendish’s survey were asked what they think those living in Build to Rent homes earn, 39% believed the average income was lower than this, sitting between £20,000 and £29,999. The remaining MPs (61%) selected a wide mix of incomes, ranging from under £20,000 to £100,000.

Although over half (58%) of MPs expressed support for an increase in Build to Rent homes in their constituencies, a significant portion (one-third) remained uncertain about their stance.

“Build to Rent can play a vital role in addressing Britain’s housing crisis, yet demand still massively outstrips supply, meaning renters across the country are losing out on the benefits of Build to Rent. As our research shows, national politicians do not prioritise the sector, with six other housing types prioritised by MPs. The unrealised investment in new Build to Rent homes is damaging to Britain’s housing market, holds back growth, and continues to see too many people renting in unsuitable and poorly managed rental accommodation. The sector is still largely misunderstood by policymakers and decision-makers and greater awareness is needed, particularly as we approach a General Election. All eyes are on the political parties to define their visions to address the lack of housing supply. For the Build to Rent sector, now is the time to address the lack of awareness, tackle the misconceptions, and put the sector at the centre of a housing revolution in Britain.”

Max Camplin, Executive Director, Cavendish