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Big Money Throws First Punch For UK's First Purpose-Built Single-Family Rental


The UK’s first ever purpose-built single-family rental housing development has received planning approval.

Apache Capital’s Present Made single-family rental housing platform has claimed a UK first as its debut SFR scheme in Cambridge won planning consent.

The development in the northern suburb of Eddington means the £160M scheme will be developed, owned and operated by Present Made. The 373 rental homes will be ready for occupation in 2024.

UK-focused investors are increasingly tilting their build-to-rent strategies toward single-family rental. A slowdown in the UK mortgaged property market offers a chance to acquire and develop SFR sites that volume housebuilders would otherwise monopolise.

Investors also believe that SFR comes with lower risks, and greater rewards, at a time of economic uncertainty.

SFR as communal paradise: The Present Made plan

The site meshes into the University of Cambridge’s 150-hectare North West Cambridge masterplan, where plans include 3,000 homes; 2,000 student beds; 1M SF  of new employment floorspace and 540K SF of gross retail floorspace.

The community has a "people before cars" master plan, with expansive green spaces and livable streets to encourage meaningful moments between residents and health and fitness, while ecology corridors and edible gardens will support the local biodiversity of the area.

The on-site amenities will include a communal pavilion, gym, yoga studio, private dining room, bike café, children’s playgrounds and coworking.

The new single family rental community, as seen from the air.

Present Made Executive Director Alan Penfold took advantage of the approval to call on politicians to take a closer look at the single-family rental.

“The government, at all levels, should be finding ways to harness the growing weight of institutional capital looking to help fund the delivery of high-quality housing schemes such as Present Made of Eddington,” Penfold said.