What Is UK Build-To-Rent Property & How To Invest?

It’s the future of rented living in the UK – and it’s one of the fastest-growing property types in the country.

As a leading UK build-to-rent investment company, Select Property Group has been developing and delivering properties in the sector to its global investors for the last five years.

Below we’ve outlined some of the key things you need to know about build-to-rent investments.

Modern living space at Affinity Living Riverside, Manchester – one of Select Property Group’s recently completed build-to-rent developments.

What Does Build-to-Rent Mean?

Quite simply, build-to-rent homes are modern properties that have been specifically designed to be used by tenants.

Over the last 20 years, property priorities for tenants have changed and, thus, rental homes have had to adapt to these changing demands.

For many, renting is now a lifestyle decision, not a reluctance. Renting is the preferred way of living and, therefore, settling for inferior rental homes is no longer an option.

They will pay a premium to access the highest quality homes, the best locations and finest communal facilities.

By creating homes purpose-built for tenants, developers can deliver properties that will be the most attractive in the rental market.

Build-to-rent developments are typically found in key UK city centres. Living spaces are large and modern, while the wider development will boast a range of communal facilities that are highly desirable among tenants.

These can include amenities such as on-site gymnasiums, co-working spaces, cinema rooms and more.

Buy-to-Let Versus Build-to-Rent – What’s the Diference?

In many ways, build-to-rent is the natural evolution for the buy-to-let property sector.

For a generation, buy-to-let was the only rental solution in Britain.

Residential homes, originally built for homeowners, moved into the rental sector and repurposed for tenants. In some cases, multiple tenants under the same roof.

These homes are often old and susceptible to the common problems that naturally come with ageing buildings.

Buy-to-let properties are frequently located in the suburbs of the city, rather than its centre. For young workers – the demographic that makes up the largest proportion of the UK’s rental market – this meant living on streets surrounded by families and older residents, adrift from the heartbeat of the city.

A product not designed for the needs of today’s tenants.

 

A typical example of an older-style buy-to-let UK property

According to Knight Frank’s 2019 tenant survey, the key things renters in the UK want are:

  • Affordability
    • With a rent that’s within budget
  • A good location
    • With a key focus on being close to work
  • Large indoor living space
  • Key amenities, such as en-suite bathrooms, on-site gyms and high-end fixtures and appliances
    • And they will pay extra for these facilities

Build-to-rent’s qualities mean it is the only sector than can satisfy most things on tenants’ checklists.

Modern, purpose-built rental homes. Central locations. Quality amenities.

In recent years, it’s become one of the fastest growing property sectors in the UK. By 2025, rental demand in the UK is set to reach six million people.

And, for many of these people, build-to-rent will be the accommodation of choice.

“Unlike its predecessor, build-to-rent is designed for the end-user. If your property offers the things demanded most by tenants, it will always remain attractive. And if it makes them happy once they’ve moved in, they’re less likely to move out.”

CEO, Select Property Group

A state-of-the-art gymnasium at Elizabeth Tower at Crown Street, Manchester – a new build-to-rent investment from Select Property Group
Modern living space at Crown Street, Manchester – one of Select Property Group’s recently completed build-to-rent developments.

Why Build-to-Rent is Now More Important Than Ever

2020 was the year when build-to-rent qualities became more in-demand than ever before.

Tenants spent more time in their properties than they might ever have done previously. Over half of the UK population’s working habits changed, with many working remotely away from the office.

For many, where once their rental property was a base – a place simply to sleep and to spend a few hours of an evening – it has now become their 24/7.

It has become their home.

A Savills survey in April 2020 revealed:

  • – 39% of those aged under 50-years-old now have a desire to move to a bigger living space following lockdown
  • – Having greater access to outdoor space has become more important to those under the age of 40-years-old
  • – The uplift in working from home has further underlined the importance of good Wi-Fi access

 

All of these features are synonymous with the type of build-to-rent residential projects that developers – such as Select Property Group – are building in UK city centres.

These are also qualities that will become the norm for UK tenants. Data from the Guild of Property Professionals suggests that over two-thirds of UK workers will now be working from home on a permanent basis.

UK Build-to-Rent is a Future-Proof Investment

Build-to-rent was already becoming the strongest residential proposition in the UK. One just at the very start of an exciting cycle of growth.

It’s been the natural move for global investors, too. Here at Select Property Group, our clients based in our key international territories – including the GCC and Southeast Asia – are already familiar with some of build-to-rent’s key fundamentals:

  • – City centre developments
  • – Large apartments
  • – Amenities such as gyms and swimming pools

 

This, coupled with an increasing number of tenants now likely to be drawn to build-to-rent’s qualities, means it’s one of the strongest long-term investments you can make.

The Latest Build-to-Rent Investment Opportunities from Select Property Group

Here are some of our latest build-to-rent developments in the UK:

The Blade, Manchester

Breathtaking design. An icon on the skyline. The finest residential homes in the city.

The Blade, Manchester will raise the benchmark for apartments in the city. Subtle design and elegant finishes merge to create premium living spaces. Impressive communal facilities and immediate access to expansive green space also provide the amenities and outdoor space tenants are demanding more than ever.

Find out more about investing in The Blade, Manchester.

Affinity Living Embankment West

The latest project from Select Property Group’s luxury build-to-rent residential brand, Affinity Living. Located in one of Manchester’s most exclusive new city centre neighbourhoods, Affinity Living Embankment West won the prestigious Residential High-rise Development UK award at the 2019/20 UK Property Awards.

Outstanding communal facilities. Contemporary apartments. A prime location in Manchester’s central business and retail district. Affinity Living Embankment West delivers on all the things tenants in Manchester are looking for from a build-to-rent development:

Final phase apartments available, with prices starting from GBP 386,669.

Find out more about Investing in Affinity Living Embankment West, Manchester.

Why Choose a Build-to-Rent Investment from Select Property Group?

Select Property Group is one of the UK’s leading developers of build-to-rent projects.

  • We have sold over GBP 1 billion worth of purpose-built residential and student property in the UK since 2012, boasting completed developments with 100% tenant occupancy.
  • Our success is built on the design and location of our developments. We pinpoint the best locations demanded by tenants. We then deliver projects which combine the facilities and amenities renters seek most.
  • A complete focus on the end-user.
  • The result is a community of satisfied tenants who pay a premium to access the finest living spaces and facilities in the city. For our investors, this ensures the long-term desirability and strength of their investment.
  • With offices located in Manchester, Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong, we have a team of UK property experts with decades of combined experience, serving an investor community of over 200,000 global investors.
WHAT OUR CURRENT INVESTORS SAY

"It Will Only Be Select Property Group
That I Trust to Invest with in the Future"

This is what our current investors think of their experience with us.
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“I wanted to invest in British real estate, due to its stability and returns in a strong currency. Select’s reputation and proven track record of results sold their investments to me over other UK developers. To date I’ve been extremely satisfied with my investments, and I’ve already been confident enough to refer Select to several of my friends.”

Mshindi B Kenya-based investor

“To date I am very satisfied with my investments, not just from a capital gains perspective, but with the personal level of service and attention Select Property gives to each individual investor throughout the entire sales and property management process. As an overseas buyer, I’ve found it very easy to invest in the UK with Select Property, and I’d be very open to investing with them again in the future.”

Colin C US-based investor

“I have also successfully referred other investors in Egypt, as I was deeply convinced that others would be as attracted by the great investment potential and Select Property’s professional management standards as I was. For sure I will be investing in the UK again, solely with Select Property.”

Sherif D Egypt-based investor

“I’ve bought a number of different products as I’m very confident that Select Property can deliver success in different real estate sectors. With each property, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at just how easy the whole investment process was. So far I’ve bought more than six properties and it will only be Select Property that I trust to invest with in the future.”

Khalid Z Lebanon-based investor

“The returns I have achieved so far are in line with initial expectations promised by Select Property, while my properties have also enjoyed notable capital appreciation. Select Property’s dedicated team of professionals have made the investment process clear and simple right from the start.”

Antony L Thailand-based investor

“Select Property has developments in the best locations, and the quality of their properties have been proven time and time again. Growing a portfolio is very important, and having a trusted partner is essential to building your portfolio successfully, so I will definitely be trusting Select Property again with any future investments.”

Mohammed A Kuwait-based investor

“After doing my research, I chose Select Property Group because of their impressive track record and their full-service approach; I found very few other developers that would manage my property for me, too. Every person I’ve dealt with has displayed huge professionalism and demonstrated an incredible knowledge of the UK property market.”

Brian M South Africa-based investor

“The investment process was made very easy. If I ever had a problem and needed more information, every person at Select was very helpful and friendly, explaining everything in detail and always returning my calls promptly. Going forward, it’s made me very interested in investing in any future developments Select bring to market.”

Avril W UK-based investor