Last week the Urban Land Institute published a Second Edition of its acclaimed Build to Rent Guide - hailed by some in the market as a "Bible" for the PRS industry.
The First Edition was launched back in 2014 at a time when the market was sceptical about the long term prospects of the build to rent sector. For that reason it was as much about laying out the business case to would be investors as it was a guide for best practice.
Since then, the build to rent market has taken off and we have seen an explosion of investment - the start of 2016 alone has seen a number of significant schemes announced; L&G and PGGM's 3000 unit/£600M build to rent partnership as well as a £1bn fund confirmed by RBS. We have also seen published the BPF's Build to Rent Manifesto, acknowledging it as a new asset class, and the setting up of the government's PRS Taskforce – which has delivered various initiatives to support the sector, including the successful Build to Rent Fund (offering £1bn to help support the delivery of 10,000 new homes designed specifically for rent).
Alex Notay, ULI UK Policy Director and Editor of the Build to Rent Guide said of its launch, "We had always hoped that a second Guide might be feasible, when we could move from proving that the Build to Rent concept could work in the UK, to demonstrating true best practice in a UK context. We were all conscious that we had depended on US examples in the first edition, because there simply weren't any live case studies here. We are delighted that this new edition features, not only three brand new chapters and five fully revised chapters but also numerous home-grown case studies of real schemes, both purpose-built and retrofitting of existing buildings".
The year has got off to a promising start for the built to rent sector and demand for high quality rented housing is undoubtedly here to stay – PWC recently revised its previous predictions upward so that by 2020, it estimates that 60% of Londoners will be renters. With the demand for this emerging asset class well established and with institutional investment pouring in, we look forward with interest – could this be PRS' year?
You can find out more information on ULI UK's Build to Rent Guide here: http://uk.uli.org/