The Build-to-Rent housing model has quickly been adopted by the United Kingdom and United States, and Australia is now beginning to realise the opportunities it offers. Given Australia’s current housing affordability, BTR assets will be highly sought after when they emerge on the marketplace.
The benefits of BTR to both tenants and property owners are widely known: lower long term costs, easier maintenance, community building, upscaled housing capacity, the list goes on. However, there has been little discussion about what local councils stand to gain through BTR development.
These are just some of the prominent advantages:
- A solution to affordable housing
With the demand for homes exceeding supply, the price of houses is climbing steadily. While many citizens aspire to own their own home, a large proportion will be unable to due to cost. Local government has a responsibility in facilitating and developing affordable housing options.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute estimates 1.3 million or about 14 per cent of Australian households are in a state of housing need, whether unable to access market housing or suffering rental stress.
- Target desired demographics
Through building design and appropriate pricing, BTR developments can attract certain demographics to particular areas. Though BTR is often touted as appealing to upcoming home-owners in Generation Z, the UK market consists of 22% 18 – 24 year olds, 26% aged 25 to 44 years old, 23% aged 45 and over, and 29% budgeting families. The even distribution indicates the flexibility of the housing model in meeting the needs of diverse population groups, meaning they can be tailored to achieve the local council’s desired outcome.
- Nurture more permanent residents
Traditional rental models bring with them uncertainty in housing occupancy, as residents move in and out of the area dependant on pricing and availability. Quickly changing populations present challenges to councils including strain on infrastructure, facilities and services. The more permanent affordable housing model BTR presents enables more accurate forecasting and consistency in residency.
- Build communities
With faster occupancy and absorption rates, a sense of community can be much more quickly and easily established through BTR developments than with Build to Sell. Amenities, common living spaces and leisure facilities support vibrancy and appeal to new residents. The facilities are also a valuable source of local employment and residents are more likely to take care of their facilities due to their longer-term occupation.
- A growing market
While 57% of Australians own their own home, 43% are renting. Property Update estimates one in five Australians will never be able to afford their own home and will likely rent for life. That’s 3.6 million people. As Australia moves away from the once idealised picket fence and large backyard, populations will grow in areas of more convenient, affordable housing and decrease in others that haven’t changed with the times.
Would you like to learn more about BTR and the effect it will have on your local area?
Criterion’s inaugural 2019 Build to Rent conference has brought together over 200+ delegates and 50+ speakers from the industry to share best practices on planning, design, delivery, operations and financing models. Criterion are proud to partner with the industry to deliver the 3rd Driving Growth & Investment in Build to Rent Conference in Sydney.