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Different Types of Build-to-Rent Communities

22 February 2021 Lucy Brice Read time: 2 min
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Lucy Brice

Build-to-Rent has become a pivotal part of the private rental market, and there are now more than 150,000 developments either completed, under construction or given planning permission. And with so many units it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn there is more than one Build-to-Rent housing type. 

While the most common type is a large apartment building with social spaces, other options have come to the market in recent years to offer renters of all ages renter-first homes. And if you’re thinking about investing in Build-to-Rent or developing units, you’re probably keen to know about the options available. 

In this guide we’re looking at Build-to-Rent and how it's benefiting the rental ecosystem. So read on and see which Build-to-Rent homes are changing the landscape of renting in the UK. 

Multi-Family Homes

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The most common type of Build-to-Rent community, Multi-Family Homes features a collection of apartments in the same building with social spaces. Of the 150k Build-to-Rent communities, Multi-Family Home makes up the crux of available stock and is mostly concentrated in cities like London and Manchester

For developers and operators, these homes are usually the most attractive proposition as they include full apartments – often in studio, one, two, three and even four-bed options – and are therefore the most sought-after from renters. 

Social aspects play a huge role in Multi-Family Homes, and it’s not uncommon to find services like a concierge, pet grooming and mail collection. Most of these buildings also feature spaces like a gym, residents’ lounge and, in some cases, spas and swimming pools. 

Co-Living

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Co-Living and Multi-Family Homes are similar in most aspects, with the exception of the living space. While Multi-Family Homes offer full apartments, Co-Living buildings emphasise the social space and builds on a sense of community for renters.

Residents usually have a room (some with an ensuite) and share the kitchen, lounge and even bathrooms in some cases. Co-Living has grown in popularity over the last couple of years, with many operators offering a five-star hotel experience wrapped into 24-hour living. 

Covid has, in some sense, slowed down this type of Build-to-Rent home’s growth, but there’s a huge investment in Co-Living, with the social aspect playing a significant role for renters who want deeper connections from their living experiences. Expect it to grow in the coming years. 

Single-Family-Home

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The newest form of Build-to-Rent in the UK, Single-Family-Homes focus on one household without social spaces. In fact, most of the properties come in the form of a house and are often found in more suburban areas as well as on the outskirts of commuter towns. 

As the name suggests, Single-Family-Homes appeal to families who are looking to lay down routes. That usually means longer tenancies, which is appealing for any Build-to-Rent operators and developers who favour long-term, sustainable rents with fewer void periods. 

Of the three primary Build-to-Rent types, Single-Family-Homes are the least frequent. However, the landscape is changing as developers have recently found an impetus to build these types of properties. There are already thousands of homes in development, and you can expect a surge in the next couple of years. 

The Build-to-Rent options

It’s easy to see the appeal of Build-to-Rent, as renters get professionalised homes explicitly designed for them. For developers and operators, it’s the chance to provide five-star homes for renters (who will make up a quarter of the housing market by the end of 2021) and see the benefits of focusing on homes built for rent. 

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