The property industry has urged the Chancellor to bring in measures that will help the purpose-built rented sector helps the government to meet is housing targets against Brexit negotiation uncertainty.
Figures released today by the British Property Federation show that in the past year the amount of build to rent units in with planning permission, under construction or completed in the UK has surged by over 200% to 67,000 units. UK regions have seen an increase of almost 400%, from 7,000 units in October 2015 to over 34,000 a year on.
The BPF has stressed that although these figures are encouraging, the sector could be delivering far more homes. This is particularly the case at the moment, as investors, with a potential £50bn to invest, look for stable income and investment sectors that will be relatively unaffected by any Brexit market turbulence.
To further boost activity the BPF has therefore asked government to consider changes to the SDLT surcharge on additional homes at the Autumn Statement, which would provide a shot in the arm to the sector.
In its Autumn Statement submission, the BPF has also urged the Chancellor to introduce clearer national planning policy for build to rent developments, and to allow flexibility on space standards by up to 10%.
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The build to rent sector has been one of the good news stories of the housing market over the past few years and it is great to see quality rental homes now coming on to the market at scale.
“The truth is the sector could be delivering so much more, however, if it can find the opportunities and maintain confidence to invest. The Brexit negotiation period provides a window of opportunity to channel even further investment into this form of housing supply. The sector was kick started a few years ago with support from Government and further modest planning and SDLT changes we believe could firmly send it into overdrive.”
Notes to editors
The BPF’s Autumn Statement submission can be read on our website.