Build to rent takes off across London

Build to rent is gathering momentum across the UK as renters see the benefits of a professional rather than a private landlord. May 16, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
Build to rent takes off across London

The needs of ‘generation rent’ are firmly on the agenda, with the Department for Communities and Local Government allocating £1 billion for build to rent development, as well as appointing a taskforce and champion to drive the cause.

In the space of less than three years, 20,000 units have been added to London’s build to rent development pipeline. In the capital’s middle and outer boroughs – places like Ealing, Barking, Croydon, Newham – significant build to rent development is taking place and, with it, a quality rental offer is starting to be delivered.

The impact of this new enthusiasm for built to rent is also being felt in the Wembley Park area, where Developer Quintain has just launched its second purely rental apartment building, Dakota. Michael Allen, said, “We’re delighted that Dakota opened on schedule, with the first customers moving in on the day we opened. We look forward to welcoming them to a new era of renting in London.

“Dakota is the second Tipi apartment building to open at Wembley Park and follows the success of our first building Montana, which has attracted renters from across the capital and beyond. Our aim of making Tipi the best way to live in London certainly has struck a chord with those looking to rent high quality, contemporary accommodation in a super-connected area.”

In Janaury, Legal & General teamed up with a Dutch pension fund manager to construct 3,000 units across the UK under a £600 million build-to-rent plan. Insurance giants Hermes Investment Management and M&G have launched similar funds in the last two years.

The build to rent sector, dubbed ‘the closest thing to a silver bullet’ for housing delivery by the British Property Federation (BPF), has the potential to deliver a significant amount of new homes for the capital, as well as improving standards in the private rented sector.

In its housing manifesto published in March, the BPF urged the London Mayor to allocate a quarter of all public sector land for build to rent, identify 20 new build to rent opportunity areas, and increase the yearly build to rent target by fifty per cent if it is to tackle the housing crisis head-on.

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