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UK's Build to Rent sector sees record levels of investment

The UK Build to Rent sector continues to go from strength to strength, with record levels of investment in the first quarter of 2019, fresh research shows.

The CBRE UK Residential Investment Market view Q1 2019 reveals that between January and March 2019, there was a total of £1.04bn of investment into the UK private rental sector for Build to Rent schemes, including several forward funding deals, and some direct site acquisitions. This is four times higher than in Q1 2018 and is among the strongest quarterly investment volume recorded over the past four years.

The CBRE report highlights the major deals in the first quarter of 2019 and signifies strong momentum as we head into the second quarter, with close to £780m of deals under offer.


Institutional investment into Build to Rent has translated into more than 140,000 homes across the UK which are either completed or in the pipeline, with an increase of 1,981 homes from Q4 2018, according to figures from the British Property Federation.

Alex Davis, senior director of residential capital markets at CBRE UK, said: “Investment into the UK build-to-rent market continues to build real momentum. CBRE recorded a further £1.04bn of institutional investment into the sector in Q1 2019, which was four times higher than Q1 2018, and the strongest start to a year on record.

“Much of this growth has been driven by international investment, with the large North American funds making their mark, particularly in London. For example, Realstar has forward funded a 161-home scheme in Hackney, while Telford Homes was advised by CBRE in securing £105.5m of forward funding for their Equipment Works build-to-rent development site in Walthamstow by a joint venture between Henderson Park and Greystar.

“CBRE was involved in the biggest deal of the quarter, advising Canadian institution PSP Investments throughout the formation of a new partnership between Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and PSP Investments and QuadReal Property Group, known as the Cherry Park Partnership. The partnership will deliver a £670m private rental scheme adjacent to the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, and feature 1,200 rental homes in an area where we are seeing growing demand from renters. 

“While the North American investors have been busy in London, European investors have been much more active across the UK. In particular, L&G has closed on two large forward funding schemes; 324 units in Glasgow and 104 units in Chelmsford. This highlights the growing appetite – particularly amongst UK institutions – to explore ‘new’ markets across the UK’s regional centres and try to grow their portfolios more aggressively.”

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Poll: Are you surprised to see the Build to Rent continuing to go from strength to strength?


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    This is done by big business which is what the Tories are comfortable with. No party supports the small landlords, so this growth, along with grey built student ghettos is no surprise.


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