The Build to Rent (BtR) sector maintains its status as the most coveted real estate segment nationwide, achieving record-breaking investments for the fourth consecutive year (Savills 2023). Despite vigorous investor interest, enduring challenges persist, setting the stage for this year's BTR360 strategic conference.
At the heart of the agenda lie crucial themes, such as the expansion into non-urban territories and the intricate planning dynamics as stakeholders navigate the delicate balance between rental demand and housing policies. We'll explore the scrutiny on environmental impact and social consequences for residents and communities, the potential setbacks posed by late-stage reviews and secondary staircases within development projects, and last but not least, we'll address the magnifying impact escalating costs and inflationary pressures are having.
Join us at the BTR360 conference promising lively debate among industry leaders as we dissect these intricate issues, foster insights, and forge a path forward for the dynamic Build to Rent sector.
The imbalance between supply and demand continues to support and grow the build to rent sector, as well as investor support. This session will:
- Examine the current state of the BTR market, highlighting areas of growth and potential
- Analyse market indicators, economic trends and policy changes that could affect BTR in the future
- Evaluate the factors influencing the demand for rental properties from affordability to geography
- Look to the future of value growth and returns
The UK continues to face low levels of capital investment, slowing GDP and poor productivity growth. The businesses that have the potential to reverse that trend and to start driving growth rely on attracting the best talent into the major UK cities and, more often than not, that talent is coming from the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Importantly, those people need somewhere to live that provides them with a great rental experience, convenient transport links and the opportunity to make connections. The BtR sector has a critical role to play to deliver that. However, BtR development is meeting significant challenges when it comes to planning, investment, and the current economic environment, all of which are slowing the pace of growth. This panel will consider:
• How the sector can move forward to overcome and resolve the current obstacles to growth and long-term viability
• How to develop trust through the renewal of public/ private partnership with government and councils
• The impact of escalating local authority obligations, such as CIL, on scheme viability
• What the Renter Reform Bill will mean for the sector
• How organisations are planning for the outcome of the general election
UK investment into BTR exceeded £1.1bn in Q1 of 2023, clearly demonstrating that the appetite for the sector remains. This panel session will explore the key indicators that make BTR attractive for investors, and how the market could evolve to continue its record growth:
- Exploring the factors that are at the forefront of investors’ minds when looking at new opportunities
- How do investors evaluate new geography opportunities across the UK?
- What are the other opportunities that investors are eyeing up: single, multi- family schemes and mid – market renters
The most common age band for residents in both BTR and PRS is 25 to 34 years old (BPF Report 2022), making up 40% of all residents. This should represent a significant opportunity to tap into different rental markets, from single, multi-family and mid-market renters. This session will:
- Consider how buildings can provide for older demographics looking to downsize
- Explore single and multi-family schemes and what families are looking for
- Discuss how the RESI slowdown is creating new opportunities for mid-market renters
BTR is a critical sector, attracting growing investment and diversifying the UK’s housing supply. But is the current planning policy an enabler or a hindrance, and how are policy and regulatory changes impacting development? This session will:
- Analyse how BTR compares to other RESI sectors within the planning process
- Examine how affordable housing should interact and be integrated within schemes
- Explore the impact of late-stage reviews and how they could change the development period
- Discuss how planning is changing to accommodate a proactively designed BTR scheme.
- Address how the Building Safety Act could impact cost and design
- How can we address build costs in development?
- Improving diversity in the property sector
- Demonstrating ESG with a focus on social impact
- Influencing planning outcomes through community partnership
- Understanding the impact of the Building Safety and Fire Safety Act on new and existing developments
- Driving energy efficiency strategies in partnership with residents
The second staircase rule for buildings over 18 metres was mandated by the Mayor of London earlier this year. With no consultation on the new rule, developers will now have to consider how to move forward with existing plans. This panel will consider:
• What is the impact on the viability of schemes?
• What does the new rule mean for market perception on how safe a building is? And how could this impact on tenancy and rents?
• Is the new rule sensible and should there be more consultation?
Proptech provides a huge opportunity to heighten customer experience through data driven strategies and AI. This session will explore how data can be used throughout a scheme to enhance resident experience as well as improving the efficiency and sustainability of a building. This panel will:
- Explore how data can be used to predict how buildings will be used
- Discuss the impact of AI on BTR schemes
- Provide an overview of innovative proptech in the market
Functional living spaces, interior design, communal spaces, connections to the community - these are all the ingredients for a successful scheme. This session will explore the commonalities and differences of the top rated BTR properties in England and share keys insights drawn from the data
- ESG data in BTR, and Utopi insights
- Using Utopi data to uncover current baseline behaviours
- What we currently know about sustainable behaviours
- Case studies in BTR and other multi-tenant sectors
Where we need to get to for real change
Delivering true ESG
BTR is uniquely positioned to demonstrate true leadership in ESG, from the fabric of the building to the way residents are interacting with the environment. These afternoon sessions will explore ground-breaking schemes that are making significant impact:
- What social value obligations should the sector meet?
- Working with planners to maximise opportunities for integration
- Understanding what amenities are valuable to residents and the wider community
Case study 1: Kirpal Rehinsi, Head of Build to Rent, Touchstone RESI
Case study 2: Tom Stoneham, Senior Development Manager, HUB Residential