Building homes for Generation Rent: Can institutional investment meet the challenge?

Published: 1 October 2013

There is an urgent need to increase the supply of housing in the UK to address the growing affordability problems faced by low to middle income families. 

We need to increase the supply of all types of housing in view of the scale of the challenge. But given that large numbers of low to middle income families are shut out of home ownership for the medium to long term and do not qualify for social housing, addressing supply must include a focus on market rent homes. Market rent is no substitute for an adequate supply of social and affordable housing, but it could play a greater and more positive role in addressing the UK’s acute housing needs.

A central question underpinning its slow development is the extent to which a better deal for tenants is compatible with investor expectations. And, if build to rent represents a viable proposition for investors, can it meet the affordability needs of low, modest and middle income families in different parts of the country or is it only a solution for higher income tenants in London?

The analysis presented in this report attempts to take the debate over build to rent to the next stage by using real data from actual or planned developments and examining where and how build to rent might work, what the improvements for tenants could be, what the returns for investors might look like and where the key challenges lie.

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