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Graham Awards


Bye Bye Buy To Let? Big investors want to take over rental sector

The strong fundamentals of a rental market with a chronic undersupply are attracting a growing amount of institutional capital says Knight Frank.

More than £1.4 billion worth of deals were agreed in the final three months of 2021 in the UK Build To Rent sector, pushing year-end investment volumes to a record £4.3 billion. 

Annual spend was up 19 per cent on 2020, the previous record year. Deal volumes were also up by nearly a third year-on-year. 


The agency says: “We forecast that rental values will increase by 17.1 per cent over the next five years in the UK, as the lettings market is underpinned by these strong fundamentals. 

“The equivalent figure is 22.7 per cent in prime central London and 19.3 per cent in prime outer London.” 


Underlining the strength of demand, the number of international corporate relocation enquires received by Knight Frank from prospective tenants in March reached its highest level since August 2019. 

“Demand is hard to satisfy at the moment and it will only grow as summer approaches” says John Humphris, head of relocation and corporate services at Knight Frank. 

“If you own a good property at the moment, the chances are that it will be let before it even comes to the market.” 

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  • girish mehta

    Match box houses at astronomical rent . Not fit for families to live in in prison like buildings. Where Tenent’s will be evicted if they do not honour tenancy agreement.

  •  G romit

    BTR only want the young professionals with high disposable incomes to spend in the onsite cinema, gym, coffee shop, etc. in city centres.

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    I wonder how the BTR sector will cope with those on UC, who have a “ story “ to tell and have just come out of re-hab! FYI… they won’t because that is not the demographic they are after, the PRS by then will be a hollow shell, so nothing will be available for them there…. Slim pickings ahead I fear, I will watch from the side lines with interest.

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    BTR is not a threat - we need more housing of all types. Unfortunately the area where we most need extra housing is in the affordable / social sector & BTR are not interested in this.

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    I welcome these BTR ghettos as they will have the same effect on market rates as the cardboard clad purpose built student ghettos have had on the student rental market rents.

    In my experience most students don't want to be isolated from the rest of society and the main pubs and clubs areas and are willing and able to pay the same rents for proper flats.

    I suspect most young professionals will feel likewise once they tire of the onsite gym and high ancillary charges.

    As said earlier, families won't want them either but since the SNP legislation has stopped me from renting to families whom I can't easily get out, that won't make any difference to me other than being able to mirror the higher rents.

    I wonder how the Tory backers who build these ghettos will feel about rent controls, or will they be exempted just as the purpose built student ghettos have been exempted from normal building standards and PRS legislation?


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