BTR gathering pace outside of London, finds research…

The data shows letting times of three to seven days in eight locations, all of which are based around the Midlands and North – namely Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, Crewe, Coventry, Heywood, Oldham, St Helens and Wednesbury.

Meanwhile, the EG data also shows that, across the UK as a whole, the average number of days a BTR home remains on the market is 28, in comparison to London and Edinburgh where flats take more than 30 days on average to let.

The major regional cities of Birmingham and Liverpool have witnessed the quickest leasing activity, with the average amount of time on the market being 21 days.

What’s more, the data found that the average monthly rental value for BTR topped £1,786 across the UK – something that will do little to dissuade the popular notion that BTR is exclusive and elitist. 

Average monthly rental values vary quite considerably by region, though, with an average price of £873 in the historic railway town of Crewe, while it rises to £1,352 in Birmingham. In fellow Midlands city Coventry the average price is £873 as well, while in university and tech hub Cambridge the price is a much more eye-watering £2,240. In the Scottish capital, the average price is £2,207, while in Liverpool it’s a more affordable £1,251.

Anna Reed, data director at EG, said of the latest BTR data: “For investors and property developers it’s clear from our latest data that the greatest opportunity lies outside of London. With 38,000 BTR properties built in the last year – equating to an annual investment of £4.7 billion – the BTR market is maturing and those looking to invest in BTR should be looking to the Midlands and North rather than capital cities for the quickest letting times.”

She added: “The continued growth and investment in the BTR market is also an indicator of a broader trend we’re seeing in commercial real estate around a transition away from traditional properties toward living assets, where people are being put at the heart of the sector. Not only does this help future-proof investments, but it also provides an opportunity for the commercial real estate sector to play a crucial role in tackling the UK’s housing shortage.”

According to the British Property Federation’s Build to Rent Map, which is produced by Savills drawing on data from Molior, and tracks BTR activity on a quarterly basis, there are now 237,362 BTR homes in the UK, including both London and the regions. Of these, 73,739 are complete, 47,764 are under construction and 115,859 are in the planning stages.

Broken down regionally, there are a total of 96,585 units in London and 140,777 units outside of the capital. The BTR market as a whole is said to account for around 2-3% of the rental market, although this could now be higher.

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