There are now 124,037 Build to Rent homes that have been built, are under construction or in planning across the UK

House building

The regions of the UK have overtaken London in the number of build to rent properties being created for the first time ever, according research released by the British Property Federation.

There are now 124,037 homes that have been built, are under construction or in planning across the UK, according to the BPF research, drawing on data from property firm Savills.

London has been outstripping the rest of the country, until now.  The new research reveals that over the past year the regions have just edged ahead of the capital, with 62,021 homes built or in various stages of development compared to 62,016 in the capital since the build-to-rent scheme began in 2013.

The picture has changed since the end of the second quarter last year, when London accounted for 54,702 homes and the regions just 44,021.

Since then the regions have made ground on London in every area, from the number of homes completed and under construction to those going through the planning process.

At the end of the second quarter of this year, the regions and London were taking an equal split of the overall number of build-to-rent homes compared to a 45-55 split in London’s favour a year ago.

Ian Fletcher, BPF director of real estate policy, commented: “This is a significant landmark moment for build-to-rent, with the sector’s total number of homes across the UK’s regions overtaking London’s total for the first time ever.”

He added: “Clearly, recognition of build-to-rent’s potential to deliver much-needed new, high-quality rental homes is gathering momentum across the country.”

Fletcher said: “London was first out of the blocks and remains an important market for build-to-rent. Institutional investors are cautious and London offers significant general demand for rental housing, but as investors have become more comfortable with the sector, they have been prepared to trade more risk for returns, and given the price of land in London, yields are often higher elsewhere.”

One of the biggest barriers to build-to-rent is finding sites that will allow large developments, according to the BPF. To date, only two developments have been completed with more than 500 homes. But progress is being made, according to the research. There are now 37 developments in planning or under construction with more than 500 homes each.