Blog & Articles

Kickstart institutional investment to build new homes for generation rent

Date: 30. October 2013
Katie Blacklock

Investors have long enjoyed a love/hate relationship with property. An asset class dominated by commercial real estate, it delivers diversification and a reasonable yield in the good times. But in difficult times, upward-only rent reviews vanish, and fund managers are left wrestling with high voids and bad debts.

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How to revive build to rent

Date: 18. October 2013
Vidhya Alakeson

The private rented sector is fast becoming the only housing option for low to middle income families. Even with Help to Buy, home ownership is too great a stretch for many, especially in expensive areas and they are very unlikely to get access to affordable housing. The UK’s private rented sector though remains characterised by older properties, short term tenancies and variable quality. What’s more, the market is dominated by small buy-to-let landlords who own one or two properties each – just one tenant in ten rents from a professional, large landlord. Families in “generation rent” deserve a better deal and private finance can provide part of the answer.

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Build to rent: the obstacles for housing providers

Date: 24. June 2013
Vidhya Alakeson

When delegates gather in Manchester tomorrow for the start of the Chartered Institute of Housing's annual conference, there will no doubt be talk of build to rent, the government fund to stimulate new private rented housing supply and attract institutional investors.

Registered providers are looking for new ways of attracting capital into housing and build to rent carries with it the promise of institutional investment. Government too is resting a lot of hope on build to rent to increase supply and meet growing demand from those who cannot afford to buy their own home. But getting build to rent right will be a challenge for all housing providers – and a particularly tricky one for registered providers.

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‘Generation rent’ needs a helping hand

Date: 1. September 2011
Vidhya Alakeson and

This blog originally appeared on Public Finance

Yesterday’s report from the National Housing Federation predicted that by 2021 home ownership in Britain will have fallen to its lowest levels since the mid 1980s. 64 per cent of people will own a home compared to a peak of 73 percent ten years ago.

The government’s response to these predictions was half right. The minister for housing, Grant Shapps, talked about the need to build more homes. This would of course help address the chronic undersupply of housing, with the number of new homes being built at a post-war low. But it was also half wrong by continuing to focus exclusively on meeting people’s aspiration to own and ignoring the potential for the private rented sector.

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Making a Rented House a Home

Date: 8. August 2011
Vidhya Alakeson and

Published today, the Resolution Foundation’s Making a Rented House a Home outlines the shocking fact that the average low to middle income household buying a home today would have taken 31 years to save for a deposit , compared to 8 years in 1983. Last week a report by the estate agents, Savills, revealed that for the first time in Britain’s post-war history, more people are becoming tenants than home owners. We are witnessing a major transformation in our housing market that will see Britain become more like Germany and Switzerland where more than half the population rent rather than own a home.

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