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BTR Residents Aren't Quite Who You Think They Are


Build-to-rent residents are wealthier, younger and more likely to be professionals, happy to spend a higher proportion of their income on housing — so goes the stereotype.

Maybe not so much. There is tentative evidence they are getting older and less wealthy.

Analysis of more than 20,000 residents in more than 15,000 homes across England showed BTR residents are much more like private renting tenants than most people supposed.

What is claimed to be the largest ever analysis of BTR occupancy in England showed the diversity of residents matches those in the non-institutional private rented sector

One in five BTR residents work in the public sector. Both BTR and the broader PRS house similar numbers of creatives, tech professionals and leisure workers. 

The Who Lives in Build-to-Rent? report from the British Property Federation, Dataloft, London First and the UK Apartment Association analysed 89 schemes in England totalling more than 20,000 residents in more than 15,000 homes. The urban component of the data, constituting 15,887 residents, 12,404 homes across 49 schemes was benchmarked with tenants in the Private Rental Sector, finding that BTR has a similar resident profile across income, profession, age and affordability

BTR residents’ incomes are broadly similar to those in the PRS. In urban BTR 32% of residents earn between £19 and £32K per year, compared to 37% in PRS. 

The Office for National Statistics considers housing to be affordable if tenants spend 30% of their income on rent. Monthly rental costs for couples and sharers living in BTR are 30%, aligning with the ONS’ affordability benchmark, compared to 33% of monthly income in the wider PRS. For single renters BTR is on average fractionally more affordable than the PRS at 32% of monthly income versus 33%. 

More than 4 in 10 residents in both BTR and the PRS are 25-34 years old, the most common age band. But increasingly BTR is catering to other parts of the market, with 1 in 10 residents aged over 45. 

“Our report shows that residents in BTR are much more representative of the wider PRS than is often perceived,” British Property Federation Assistant Director James Simondson said.

Today there are just 140,000 BTR homes in the UK, all but 19% in the core urban centres.