Back in July, Cushman & Wakefield revealed that £890m was invested into the Build to Rent sector in Q2 2022, a 36% increase on Q2 2021, reinforcing that the sector continues to thrive in the UK, despite the generally unfavourable economic climate. Not to jump ahead and say we entirely forecasted this level of interest and investment, but at Edozo, we did notice that both Build to Rent and purpose-built student accommodation were nascent but fast-growing investment asset classes.
By Marcus Ginn, Co-Founder and CEO at Edozo
One of the immediate indicators of this was that large property consultancies were expanding their operational real estate service lines with brokers, researchers and valuation professionals so that they could better advise their clients.
Noting this move, we spoke to our existing clients and realised that professionals working in Build to Rent were becoming increasingly desperate for more data. Examples of the type of data they were after included operator details, numbers of beds/units, amenities and transport links, asking rents and capital values achieved. Without it, brokers, researchers, and valuation professionals were finding it difficult to advise in a fully informed manner. As is our mantra at Edozo: don’t rely on feelings, but on data.
Given Edozo already has an established commercial property comparables platform – Edozo insight – with transaction data on office, industrial and retail property, it wasn’t a big leap to start providing Build to Rent data to complement the work we were doing. So, we did. We built a map searchable database of 500+ Build to Rent buildings in the UK.
We know that by doing this, we are revolutionising the traditional way that valuers and investment professionals research competing or comparable buildings. Making the process much more efficient and streamlined, whilst housing information in one place makes for a big step towards efficient and ultimately better-informed decision-making.
Data is never, and will never, be constant. Our new Edozo Insight feature allows users to locate every Build to Rent asset in the UK and functions in a way that permits users to upload their own data. Because of this, users have access to an entirely private map searchable database of up-to-date and accurate market data that they have collected – a much better format than collecting sporadic data on multiple Excel spreadsheets. This data, combined with supporting data on Edozo – like boundary mapping and Land Registry transactions – makes it easier for professionals working in the Build to Rent sector to research, transact and value.
All in all, it’s interesting to consider where the Build to Rent market might be headed come 2023. Investment grade real estate such as offices have long been seen as a hedge against inflation, and Build to Rent, whilst a relatively new asset class, could also be seen that way. The upward trend in investment volumes suggests stability and return for the months to come. Saying that – trends aren’t concrete. This is why it’s more critical now than ever to have access to good quality data.