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Renters still don't understand build-to-rent 'offer' says leading figure

Brendan Geraghty

A 'lack of understanding' about the build-to-rent (BTR) sector is preventing it from offering a speedy solution to the housing crisis, according to one trade association boss.

UK Apartment Association CEO Brendan Geraghty (main picture) says both consumers and the government aren't 100% sure whether it's a good or bad rental model.

He adds: 'The planning system is an immediate blocker to many thousands of homes being built'�with the housing crisis, build-to-rent can make a very quick contribution as we don't build at the pace of the sales sector, we build quickly because we want to get people in and get rent generated.'�

Speaking to Phil Spencer on his Move iQ podcast, Geraghty explained that the quality of properties was much better than in the new build 'for sale' sector, and that the added extras in BTR blocks, such as posh Wi-Fi and allowing pets, justified its typical 10% premium.

Price differences

'Customers see great value in that. It may be premium, but value is seen as very positive and more than makes up for the difference in price.'�

According to Geraghty, BTR is focused on professional management, along with a strong care factor and a need to create community.

This focus on the consumer and a culture of care was new to the housing sector, he said, and in the single-family market homes, offered an opportunity to put down roots, as operators wanted people to stay for the long term.

He added that a sense of community, which can naturally take years to develop in towns, was short circuited in BTR, with curated events, summer barbecues, and ideas generated by residents themselves.

'There's even a homework club at one block, which the community '� not the developer - thought up.'�


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