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The BtR planning pipeline is now smaller than a year ago

New analysis published by the British Property Federation (BPF) shows delivery across the Build-to-Rent (BtR) sector has slowed in the first quarter of the year.

The analysis, conducted in collaboration with Savills, found that there has been a contraction in the number of homes currently under construction, down -6% compared to Q1 2023 and -33% from the 2017-2019 pre-covid average. In London, the fall in the past year has been significantly larger at -16%, while the regions have fallen by -1%.

The slow-down in new starts points to the ongoing challenges in the sector, including build cost inflation and significant planning delays. According to BPF research produced in the previous quarter, 40% of BtR sites take at least a year to achieve planning consent. The total number of BtR homes in planning saw a slight fall of -1% between Q1 2023 and Q1 2024, to 108,900 homes.  

Guy Whittaker, head of UK Build to Rent research at Savills, said: “Amid slowing build cost inflation, the number of completions in Q1 2024 has overtaken the number of starts for the second quarter in a row, widening to 3,404 homes from a gap of 421 homes in Q4 2023, suggesting that investors are prioritising existing schemes over new ones.”

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