Galliard Homes Limited

The Rise of PRS and BtR Schemes: A Win-Win for Tenants and Investors

Soho Loop in Birmingham, a BtR scheme by The Galliard Apsley Partnership and Heimstaden.
Guest Author | Robin Norstrom
Robin Norstrom is a director and co-founder of Apsley House Capital PLC, a developer of residential and mixed-use schemes focusing on regional UK and the build to rent sector. Robin is also a previous senior executive of Sweden based landlord Akelius and a previous Vice Chairman of Sweden’s largest Student Housing operator.

In the dynamic landscape of the UK housing market, two innovative trends have emerged over the past decade: Private Rented Sector (PRS) and Build-to-Rent (BtR) schemes. These developments have revolutionised the way people view tenureship of their home and provided an array of benefits for both tenants and investors. Both hot topics amongst industry experts and investors alike, we believe that these sectors offer huge advantages and positive impacts to tenants and the wider housing market.

One of the key reasons behind the success of PRS and BtR schemes is their adaptability to the evolving demands of the market. Unlike traditional homeownership, PRS and BtR cater to a diverse range of tenant types. Contrary to popular belief, tenants in these schemes are not only young or single individuals. Rather, they span a wide spectrum, surprising operators in the sector with their varied backgrounds and often high average incomes. PRS and BtR have become a preferred lifestyle choice for individuals across all age groups and income levels.

Furthermore, these schemes suit the fluid nature of today's workforce. As work locations become more flexible, the need for adaptable housing solutions arises. PRS and BtR offer the freedom to choose shorter or longer contracts, allowing tenants to adjust their housing arrangements based on their current needs. The absence of the cumbersome process of selling a property provides added convenience and hassle-free mobility for tenants.

PRS and BtR developments are not just ordinary rental properties; they offer a plethora of amenities and premium services. These include gyms, swimming pools, communal spaces, and other facilities that are often difficult to find in traditional housing options. The appeal of these added features has led to a surge in demand, as tenants seek a high-quality living experience that surpasses the limitations of owning a house or an old apartment. The communal spaces increase the interaction between tenants, creating a micro community, a unique offering for someone that might be new to the city or local area.

Moreover, renting in the PRS and BtR market can offer financial stability and peace of mind for tenants. With relatively stable rental payments compared to fluctuating mortgage rates, tenants can better plan their finances and allocate resources towards other investments or savings for retirement. This shift in perception challenges the conventional notion that renting leaves individuals worse off financially. The realities of this market today show that tenants can thrive while enjoying the benefits and flexibility of the PRS and BtR schemes. With traditional private landlord rents rising rapidly, many tenants may be pleasantly surprised by the lifestyle available at dedicated PRS and BtR schemes for comparable budgets.

As similar developments are well established and sought-after in many European cities, UK tenants can now experience a similar product and often with the benefits of a stronger amenity offering.

Investors, too, can find a wealth of opportunities in the PRS and BtR market. The relative novelty of these schemes in the UK offers investors the flexibility to bring in innovative offerings and capitalise on a market that is not yet saturated. This allows for the development of dynamic and diverse rental products tailored to various tenant preferences.

Additionally, the stability and efficiency of PRS and BtR developments appeal to investors. These schemes are built with a focus on cost efficiency, ensuring attractive returns for both buyers and subsequent renters. Furthermore, the high-quality standards of construction and amenities associated with PRS and BtR schemes contribute to long-term value appreciation, making them lucrative assets for investors.

As we witness the transformation of the UK housing landscape, it becomes clear that PRS and BtR schemes are here to stay. Their positive impact on both tenants and investors is driving innovation and redefining the concept of homeownership. With an eye on the future, the continued growth and diversification of the PRS and BtR market promises even greater benefits for all involved, cementing their position as a win-win solution for the evolving housing needs of the UK population

Edited: 4th September 2023
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