Market analysis by real estate debt advisory specialists, Sirius Property Finance, reveals the build-to-rent sector (BTR) has gone from strength-to-strength in the last year, rebounding from a decline in completions caused by the initial outbreak of COVID-19.

The figures show that during 2020, BTR completions totalled 11,808. This marked a -14% drop in BTR development reaching the market when compared to 2019 when there were 13,686 completions.

This decline was driven by sector activity outside of London, with regional completions falling by -35% year on year. However, across London, the number of BTR completions actually climbed by 34% in 2020, reaching a total of 5,704.

Over the last year, the London market has also seen the number of BTR completions climb by 19% reaching a total of 6,780 in 2021. But it’s the BTR sector outside of the capital that has driven top-line growth on an annual basis, with a 29% increase in completions pushing the total figure across the nation to 2,852 in 2021 – a 24% increase on 2020.

As a result, total BTR completions hit 14,660 in 2021, 7% higher than the pre-pandemic total seen in 2019.

Managing Director of Sirius Property Finance, Nicholas Christofi, commented:

“The build-to-rent sector has been moving at a phenomenal rate in recent years and it has become a strong area of focus for housebuilders of all shapes and sizes. Of course, some pandemic decline in this rate of growth was only to be expected, but we’ve since seen this decline reversed and the total number of completions reaching the market in the last year has actually exceeded pre-pandemic levels. 

Of course, London remains the key area where build-to-rent performance is concerned and while the capital’s residential sales market has lagged behind much of the UK during the pandemic property market boom, the build-to-rent sector has continued to go from strength to strength within the boundaries of the M25.”