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The number of completed build-to-rent homes increased in 2020, with the East of England seeing particularly high growth in future supply, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research published by the British Property Federation (BPF) shows the number of completed build-to-rent homes increased by 23 per cent in 2020.

When looking at government EPC data on total quarterly housing completions for England and Wales, build-to-rent delivered four per cent of all new homes in the final quarter of 2020.

Every region of the UK recorded positive growth in future supply, with the planning pipeline in Northern Ireland increasing the most significantly.

The East of England and Scotland ranked second and third, respectively.

Across the UK, there are now around 5,000 completed build-to-rent homes located in suburban areas, 10 per cent of all completed build-to-rent homes.

This reflects increasing demand for high-quality rental homes that provide more space and retain good access to city centre locations.

Ian Fletcher, director of real estate policy, British Property Federation, says: “The build-to-rent sector has shown its resilience throughout 2020, with investors continuing to drive the sector’s growth across every region of the UK.

“The quantum of planning applications in London, however, is static – suggesting that the capital is having to compete more for investment.

“Throughout 2020, around one in five homes completed in London have been build-to-rent – in the regions this share is lower, despite the volume of build-to-rent homes in the regions now surpassing London.

“There remains a significant opportunity for the sector to increase its share of completions in our regional cities and towns, further supporting local housing supply ambitions, and this will include more suburban houses that families can call home.  

“As we continue to spend more time than ever before in our homes, the pandemic has brought into sharper focus the need for high-quality housing and a solution to our country’s housing supply-demand imbalance. “Every housing sector will need to be firing on all cylinders, but it is hugely positive to see the UK’s rental market become increasingly professional, giving more choice to customers who either choose or need to rent.”

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