Build to Rent Forum – A focus on the customer
Our directors, Richard Mussell and Paul Belfield, attended a leading Build to Rent (BTR) Forum last week to hear from a range of speakers involved in the sector and the wider residential market. With Rund’s involvement in the BTR continuing apace, the significance of the sector can certainly be seen in the latest statistics on the sector’s performance.
At the Movers and Shakers BTR Forum, Adam Challis, UK & EMEA Head of Residential Research at JLL, cited that UK residential investment in the BTR sector in 2018 was €6.8bn and 155% larger than the year prior, making the UK’s BTR sector the second largest in Europe.
Kit Malthouse MP and Housing Minister was a keynote speaker at the forum and spoke passionately about the residential sector and referenced the need for change, disruption and new ways of working. With his request “more please”, he told the BTR sector that security of tenancy, design and future proofed developments were all critical aspects.
Some at the forum, however, challenged the Minister saying that for many residential customers living in a professionally managed build to rent development was a choice and that the government should recognise this rather than putting the onus of success on homeownership. Furthermore, the government’s encouragement of homeownership is putting it at odds with investors’ appetite for purpose-built rental homes, a fast-growing market that could help to address the UK’s housing shortage. There was also a sense that government policy has been a bystander in driving the BTR sector, whilst the BTR operators have been driving innovation and have been a positive disruptor and a driver for change both in terms of modern methods of construction and placemaking.
Commenting on his attendance at the Movers & Shakers BTR Forum 2019, Paul Belfield, Director said “Here at Rund, we’ve been actively involved in the build to rent sector for some time now and hearing about the growth of the BTR sector at the forum came as no surprise. For the sector to continue to grow, attract investment and play its pivotal role in the residential market, we all must focus on the customer. Through this focus, the BTR sector can provide customers with a sense of home through the security of their tenures, the quality of good design, the professional management of buildings and facilities and placemaking.”