Bristol set to gain over 2,000 new build-to-rent apartments by 2021

Ariel view of bristol

A seminar hosted by Women in Property South West has explained the benefits of the build-to-rent model

The built-to-rent model of housing designed specifically for the rental market is set to play a key part in delivering Bristol’s much-needed housing supply and attracting significant investment to the city, says JLL following a sell-out build-to-rent seminar that took place on Tuesday 5 March.

The event, hosted by Women in Property South West and held at JLL in Bristol, has thrown the spotlight on the build-to-rent sector, which originated in the US, where it is known as ‘multi-family’. The model has become firmly established in London in recent years and is now taking hold in Bristol, with neighbouring cities Cardiff and Exeter expected to follow suit.

Build-to-rent is a growing sector within the UK property market, attracting over £6bn of investment last year alone. Unlike the wider private rental sector, build-to-rent schemes are designed specifically for a community of people renting their homes, are managed by a single professional landlord and investor and offer a range of services and communal spaces, from a 24-hour concierge service to guest and event spaces to hire.

Whilst residents benefit from this emphasis on quality, community and service, the model also provides a valuable long-term asset for investors, whilst for developers, improved cashflow means homes can be delivered quicker than
traditional homes.

Rachael Sherratt, Women in Property South West vice-chair and associate at JLL in Bristol, commented: “The spotlight is on build-to-rent in Bristol with funders, developers and consultants all talking about it and exploring opportunities. Regional developments of build-to-rent homes are, for the first time, now on a par with numbers being delivered in London, which illustrates that this is definitely a sector that is here to stay.

“One of the key points of difference that comes with a build-to-rent home is convenience. In an ever-connected word we are becoming used to having access to services 24/7 and through our mobile devices. So, living somewhere where you can request a tap is fixed, get a parcel delivered or book a guest bedroom all through an app or email is highly desirable.”

Bristol examples include Finzels Reach, where 194 apartments are being developed by Cubex at Hawkins & George for Grainger, one of the UK’s largest professional landlords. This will be the first purpose-designed build-to-rent development to open in Bristol and it’s due to launch shortly. Cubex is planning a further 250 build-to-rent apartments on the former Avon Fire and Rescue headquarters site as part of the next phase of Finzels Reach. Around the city there are also build-to-rent schemes at both concept and construction stages at Bedminster Green, ND7 at Temple Quay, Castle Park View and around Ashton Gate stadium with their plans for a new community next to the basketball arena.

Panellists at the Women in Property-hosted event on 5 March included Anna Johnson, associate director in Residential Capital Markets in JLL’s London office, Gavin Bridge, executive director at Cubex, the developer behind Finzels Reach, and Alex Notay, build-to-rent fund director for PfP Capital, the fund and asset management arm of Places for People Group and an internationally recognised expert on build-to-rent, placemaking and sustainable urban development.

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