Build-to-rent to top UK housing whitepaper agenda?

Build-to-rent to top UK housing whitepaper agenda?

Housing minister confirms government document will carry a strong focus on purpose-built property for Britain’s growing population of tenants.


  • A new housing whitepaper from the government will focus heavily on the UK’s purpose build rental market
  • Housing Minister Gavin Barwell has declared the document will outline plans for more property building for “all different kinds of tenure”
  • It’s expected that the government will amend planning regulations to enable developers to invest in the purpose-built rental sector

“A change in tone” from previous policy is expected as a new official housing document looks set to underline the government’s commitment to Britain’s build-to-rent market.

Due to be published this week (February 7th), the UK housing whitepaper will officially outline the government’s strategy for the housing market, the first time since Theresa May formed her cabinet last summer.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell, speaking to the BBC and ITV on February 5th, revealed that the build-to-rent sector will form a key part of government plans to construct more homes of “all different kinds of tenure”.

Mr Barwell said: “Housing has become more and more unaffordable for people who are trying to buy or to rent because governments for 30 or 40 years have not built enough homes.”

“We need more people to get involved in building homes and we need all different kinds of tenure – for outright ownership, for shared ownership, for renting.”

“We want councils to play their part. Lots of councils stopped building homes and we are keen to see them back in the game.”

It is expected the whitepaper will detail amendments to current planning regulations, allowing developers to build more purpose-built rental homes, giving renters the added “security they need”.

Mr Barwell’s comments reiterate the points he made in November, when he promised that the government is “keen to attract institutional investment into the housing market”.

Knight Frank estimate the build-to-rent sector will be worth £50 billion by 2020, as a generation of Britons opt for long-term renting over ownership.

With recent government reform, including the scrapping of mortgage tax relief for landlords, aimed at curbing buy-to-let investment, build-to-rent is arguably the future of property investment in the UK, providing the quality tenants want and the level of regulation ministers want to see in the country’s private rented sector.

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