Built to Rent housing became a more prominent feature in the UK’s property market in 2016.
A growing need for purpose-built homes that are designed with the lifestyles, needs and desires of tenants in mind, meaning that larger Build to Rent companies and investors alike scrambled for a piece of the pie.
And this is likely to have been a contributor to 2016 being one of the best years, post-recession, for home building nationwide.
70% rise in house building
According to new data published this week by the National House Building Council (NHBC), there were more than 150,000 new homes registered across the country in 2016.
The final total of 151,687 was a slight fall of around two per cent from the year before, but 2015 was the best year since the recession for building, and in fact, 2016 is now behind only 2015 in terms of best performing years since the financial downturn.
In fact, the 151,000-plus homes constructed in 2016 actually represents growth of 70 per cent when compared to the 2008/2009 period which fell immediately after the financial crash.
It’s no coincidence that since this time, the rental sector in the UK has continued its meteoric rise to prominence.
Rise of the Build to Rent sector
Before the financial meltdown, home ownership was at its peak, but ever since, a growing number of people have been opting to rent rather than buy.
The end result is that we now have as many as five million private sector tenants in the UK, and ownership is down from nearly three-quarters to less than two-thirds.
It stands to reason then that since the rental sector has gone from strength to strength, it has been one of the major plus points of Build to Rent schemes, and a large contributor to the growth that we saw in years like 2016.
In addition to this, regional UK areas that have grown in popularity and become rental hotspots, such as the north-west and Yorkshire and the Humber, have become some of the best performing nationwide in terms of Built to Rent housing activity.
“Taking into account the extraordinary events of 2016, the UK house building sector has remained resilient, despite initial caution around Brexit. We have also seen some strong regional growth outside of London,” said NHBC business development director Mark Jones.
“Both industry and consumer confidence remains high and early signs indicate that the new year has begun positively,” he added.