UK house prices: MPs show cross-party support for emerging build to rent sector

Kasmira Jefford
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With more people set to rent in years to comes, demand for rental properties is growing (Source: Getty)

Cross-party MPs have thrown their weight behind build to rent, with a survey released today showing that more than four in five support the sector as a means of tackling Britain's housing crisis.

A new poll of 150 MPs, commissioned from ComRes by the British Property Federation (BPF), found that 91 per cent Conservative MPs and 71 per cent Labour MPs support the sector and the contribution it makes to the UK's housing supply.

Around 62 per cent of MPs expect build to rent to make a significantly higher contribution to UK housing supply over the next five years, while 67 per cent also predict a higher contribution from homes for owner-occupation, compared to current levels.

Few MPs think buy to let property will add to housing supply over the next five years, with just over a quarter (27 per cent) expecting its contribution to be higher, compared to 41 per cent who expect it to be lower, the BPF said.

A shortage of homes across the country and falling affordability is also forcing more people to rent for longer periods of time, with 60 per cent of Londoners expected to be living in rented accommodation by 2025, according to PwC.

As a result this growing demand, the private rental sector has been gaining increasing interest from institutional investors as an asset class in its own right and as a source of stable long-term income for their funds.

However several figures in the industry argue that the sector lacks sufficient support from the government due to the Conservative party's focus on home ownership.

Read More: Residential landlord Grainger taps into rental boom

The BPF estimates that there is at least £30bn investment ready to enter the build to rent sector, with more than 37,500 build to rent homes already in the planning system, under construction or complete across the UK.

Ian Fletcher, director of real estate policy, at the BPF, said: “The widespread recognition amongst MPs of the build to rent sector is a positive sign it is starting to enter the nation’s housing vocabulary.

"It is also heartening that whilst all political parties are pushing a home-ownership agenda, there is recognition amongst MPs that housing supply will come in other welcome forms and our nation requires that if we to get anywhere close to meeting demand. This is not a zero-sum game, where tenures are competing, but a quest to deliver far more homes, where it is imperative that other forms of tenures are also encouraged.”

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