Clare Burnett

UK "too obsessed" with home ownership according to law firm

According to a report entitled ‘Making Renting Viable,’ which will be published by law firm Addleshaw Goddard, the UK is too obsessed with home ownership and councils should focus on building homes for long-term private rent.

The report is due to be unveiled at the British Property Federation annual residential conference on Tuesday 25th February.

Contributors to it include numerous property developers, as well as councils and officials who have already begun commissioning schemes built for rent.

Addleshaw Goddard are calling on the government to create formal planning guidance, which sets out what should be demanded for developments built for rent.

Currently, nothing exists, which means building homes for long term rent – rather than selling them off right away –is far more costly, as developers have to hold on to the properties much like Westfield or Land Securities would with a shopping mall.

Contributors to the report agreed that some councils are in the vanguard of build-to-rent, but many more could benefit from the role renting has to play in supporting the country’s growing mobile workforce and in helping to accelerate the delivery of regeneration schemes.

Private renting is currently the fastest growing tenure in the UK housing market, yet investment from major funders is far behind countries like America.

In some areas of the UK, plans are underway to create numerous rental-led schemes backed by institutional cash.

Addleshaw Goddard’s planning partner Marnix Elsenaar said: “Planning guidelines need to be stronger and financial viability models need to reflect the fact that building for long term rent is not the same as traditional house building.

“Policymakers need to appreciate that if they get this right they could unlock a model that provides thousands of new homes with real long term community benefits.”

Addleshaw Goddard has offices in Leeds, Manchester and London.

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