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THE COMING AUSTRALIAN PHENOMENON: "BUILD TO RENT" (BTR)
Well established in the US and Europe, just 10 years ago BTR was a niche topic at investment conferences and in boardrooms in the UK; now it is one of UK real estate’s most exciting asset classes.
The UK BTR sector is set to grow exponentially in value, rising from £9.6 billion in 2019 to a potential maturity of over £540 billion, providing homes for more than 1.7 million households.
We expect Australia to follow suit.
In fact, a 2021 report by EY said that Institutional Build to Rent projects could contribute AU$7.3 billion in total economic output boost Australia’s GDP by $2.9 billion and support 17,000-plus jobs by 2025.
EY says BTR could make up around five per cent of the residential rental pool within a decade. This would deliver more than 175,000 dwellings, $100 billion in value and create tens of thousands of jobs.
(EY may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited)
Accelerated by the emergence of COVID-19, new ways of living and working throughout Australia are emerging and growing in popularity, at a time when people are increasingly becoming isolated and craving connection.
As such, Build-to-Rent (BTR) is gaining traction across the development and investment community, with the Australian pipeline rapidly growing.
Millions of investment dollars from around the world are already being poured into Australia’s burgeoning Build to Rent sector but there’s more coming.
Build to Rent (BTR) has been a hot topic in global real estate circles for the last few years now but, in the grand scheme of things, it’s still a relatively new concept.
Unless you are directly involved in property development, you may have heard the term used in the media and wondered, What is Build to Rent and how does it work?
The growing global real estate phenomenon Build to Rent is creating unprecedented worldwide interest with private real estate funds, developers, industry superannuation funds, global Sovereign Funds, and Sovereign Pension Funds all declaring their interest in the new housing asset class.
Build to Rent has the potential in Australia to be a major asset class.
According to the Savills Global Capital Markets Quarterly Report – Q1 2022 13 MAY 2022, the challenge for investors in the second half of 2022, in particular those that have raised third party money, is that they need to invest in something and we may be moving to a search for the ‘least-worst’ return as opposed to enjoying a great value proposition.
The amount of capital being raised for deployment continues to rise to unprecedented levels – in the US for example, at the end of 2021, private equity funds were sitting on a record US$290 billion of dry powder targeting commercial real estate, up 11% on 2020 and 57% on 2019 – with more and more lower returning core/core plus vehicles emerging.
Increased uncertainty will underpin a flight to safety. The increasing cost of debt, set against a compressed yield environment means that some investors, such as those that are entirely cash-on-cash focused, are struggling to participate in core markets.
However, they can explore new geographies and sectors to try and find real estate products that do meet their returns (we are already seeing strong evidence of this).
BTR compares favourably.
ABOUT BUILD TO RENT IN AUSTRALIA
Build-to-Rent (BTR) is gaining traction across the development and investment community, with the Australian pipeline rapidly growing and millions of investment dollars from around the world being poured into Australia's burgeoning BTR sector.
BTR describes a pool of residential projects built for rent rather than sale. The standard build-to-sell method is where a developer sells all the apartments to individuals for either own use or as a private rental investment.
BTR projects are generally owned and managed by a single professional entity. The development can be held for long term rental income or traded as a single asset.
BTR projects can provide tenants with security of tenure, a convenient lifestyle with greater access to amenities such as in-house cleaning, maintenance, and on-site property and facilities management provided by the asset owner.
There can be many focuses for BTR assets, from multi-family (unfurnished and targeting longer rental and larger family groups) to Co-Living flexible apartments - more micro-apartments, generally fully furnished, self-contained apartments available on flexible lease terms with either short or long stays available.
All apartments are fully self-contained with a kitchen, laundry, bathroom and living areas, but also provide shared community assets and areas built into the project, combined with high levels of resident’s services and amenities.
Over the last decade, the Australian Dream of home-ownership has shifted, with the proportion of rental households steadily rising. Demographic changes, a growing number of couples without children and singles, and increasing migration all contribute to changing lifestyle preferences that will likely drive demand for rental housing for years to come.
BTR may be a growing global phenomenon, but it's still very new in Australia.
St Regis Hotel Shelved as Mirvac Grows Build-to-Rent Portfolio
As Australia looks to construction to help rebuild the economy post-Covid-19, developer Mirvac continues to grow its Melbourne office and build-to-rent pipeline, revising plans for a $1 billion complex on the site of the former Melbourne Convention Centre.
Oxford Lodges Build-to-Rent Plans for Pitt Street Skyscraper
Oxford Properties has lodged a development application for a 39-storey, build-to-rent residential tower, the first of two towers for the Sydney Metro Pitt Street over-station development.
The project marks the first large scale build-to-rent residential tower for Sydney CBD, and will comprise 234 apartments.
Oxford Properties' Alec Harper says Australia’s evolving residential market, in response to housing affordability, population growth and changing sentiment to home ownership is driving demand for the emerging asset class in urban centres.
AUSTRALIAN AND WORLD BTR NEWS ARTICLES-
Build to Rent’s Premium Prices Stack Up in Emerging Market
April, 2022 : Build-to-rent apartments could achieve up to 27 per cent higher rents than build-to-sell, welcome news for developers breaking ground on projects across the country.
Australian BTR Set For Continued Growth After Covid Era Surge – MTD TV
March, 2022 : While the coronavirus pandemic amplified growth in Australia’s multi-family sector, industry leaders believe the market is poised to grow further as new projects reach completion and policy frameworks firm up.
Agents Follow the Money as Build-to-Rent Ramps Up
December, 2021 - Commercial real estate agents are marketing development sites as build-to-rent opportunities, taking advantage of booming interest from institutional investors. An
Could Apartments Like These, Built For Renters, Help Relieve Canberra’s Housing Shortage?
December, 2021 - Felicity Wilkins and her son have lived in four homes over the past two years as they struggled to settle in Australia's most expensive rental market, Canberra.
A London housing association has sold its build-to-rent (BTR) business to a real estate developer for £400m (AU$700m)
Decmber, 2021 - Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) has sold its minority stake in Fizzy Living to Greystar Real Estate Partners.
Is it possible to be content renting long term? This is what Australia can learn from housing around the world
December 2021 - Gloria Biberger has been renting the same apartment in Berlin's lively Kreuzberg neighbourhood for 11 years. And despite being a tenant, she says, "it feels like my home". "I know that I could stay here forever," the 37-year-old said.
Gurner, Qualitas raise $1.2 billion for rent to build platform
November, 2021 - Developer Gurner and alternative real estate investment manager Qualitas have far exceeded expectations originally setting out to raise $1 billion but the round was oversubscribed, cornerstoned by a global institutional investor alongside co-investment from both joint venture part
Sovereign wealth fund backs Rich Lister’s $1.2b BTR platform
November, 2021 - Mr Gurner – a new convert to the merits of build-to-rent having called it “economically stupid” as recent as last year – said he was both “humbled” and “excited” at the oversubscribed capital raise.
Ex-Grocon duo to lead Macquarie’s $500m build-to-rent platform
November, 2021 - Grocon’s former head of development, Dan McLennan, and former Grocon transactions manager Matthew Berg will spearhead Macquarie’s push to create a $500 million build-to-rent portfolio on behalf of institutional investors in the burgeoning sector.
Samma, Brightlight Nab Second Site for Build-to-Rent Scheme
November, 2021 -Property developer Samma Property Group has picked up a 4500sq m site in Melbourne’s Docklands where it has plans for its second build-to-rent apartment project.
Kensington Emerging as Build-to-Rent Heartland
November, 2021- Macaulay Road in Kensington may become the heartland of Melbourne’s booming build-to-rent as developers scoop up prime real estate to increase their exposure to the defensive asset class.
Landream’s $105m Melbourne Build-to-Rent Tower Gets Nod
October, 2021 - Landream’s plans to enter the build-to-rent market are under way after its planned $105-million tower was approved by the City of Melbourne
Build-to-rent projects tagged for $750m impact fund
October, 2021 – Property developer Samma Property Group has partnered with impact investment management firm Brightlight to launch a $750 million capital-raising for four “shovel-ready” build-to-rent projects, with plans to more than double that pipeline over the longer term.
Build-to-rent pipeline gushing Melbourne
October, 2021 – Melbourne has so far claimed the lion’s share of build-to-rent apartments, in existing supply and the coming pipeline, as developers swoop on the wider array of opportunities in the Victorian capital to build larger projects, backed by institutional investors.
Investor slams Coalition ‘ideology’ against build to rent
October 17, 2021 – Greystar, the world’s biggest investor in build-to-rent, has fired a broadside at the federal government, accusing the Coalition of an ideological bias against the development of a commercial rental asset class and of “stonewalling” efforts to make the sector viable in Australia.
CBA and Investa ink $130 million green loan for new build-to-rent block
OCTOBER 2021, - The Commonwealth Bank has expanded its green loan portfolio with a $130 million splash towards a landmark sustainable build-to-rent (BTR) block in Sydney.
Aspen buys into Perth’s BTR sector
September, 2021 – Aspen Capital has finalised its acquisition of a 514-unit portfolio in Perth in a $52 million deal, giving the ASX-listed budget accommodation operator a significant lift into Western Australia’s build-to-rent sector.
US property giant Greystar has been given the green light to build a $500-million, dual tower build-to-rent project on a “super site” in Melbourne’s affluent suburb of South Yarra
September, 2021 - Greystar, whose parent company is the biggest operator of apartments in the US, bought the two adjoining sites on Yarra and Claremont streets in separate off-market deals.
Fraser Property to deliver Brisbane Build-to Rent
September, 2021 - Frasers Property Australia has appointed leading construction company Hutchinson Builders to deliver the new Build-to-Rent apartments in Fortitude Valley, a project set to redefine the renting experience.
Can Boutique-Scale Build-To-Rent Stack Up?
August, 2021 - Australia’s burgeoning build-to-rent sector is gaining momentum with a growing appetite from institutional investors looking for resilient assets with reliable steady cash flow
Banks to become landlords in growing ‘build-to-rent’ sector
August, 2021 -Big companies pile into housing market that has proved resilient throughout the pandemic.
Brave new world of build-to-rent could change landscape on housing affordability
August, 2021 - Build to Rent developments could change the way we live and in a post-Covid world could be the path to unlocking billions in investment.
Aware Super lines up big push into build to rent
August, 2021 – Aware Super and its investment partner Altis are circling two of Melbourne’s best build-to-rent sites as part of plans to build hundreds of affordable rental apartments in the Victorian capital for key workers including teachers and nurses.
Bonanza Beckons for Australia's Build to Rent Sector
August, 2021 - Millions of investment dollars from around the world are already being poured into Australia’s burgeoning Build-to-Rent sector but there’s more coming
Hines snaps up Melbourne site for first local build-to-rent project
August, 2021 – Global investment manager Hines has set its sights on becoming a major player in Australia’s burgeoning build-to-rent sector after acquiring its first site in Brunswick in Melbourne’s inner north.
Build-to-rent investors step up as apartment supply dwindles
July 2021 - A pause in apartment development is providing a kick-start to Australia’s emerging asset class
Melbourne Officially Build-to-Rent ‘Epicentre’
June, 2021 - Melbourne’s build-to-rent pipeline is nearly double Sydney’s and quadruple Brisbane aanew-home
Nettleton Tribe designs Brisbane build-to-rent tower
July 2021 - A 30-storey build-to-rent tower would be build atop a prominent ridgeline in Brisbane’s Bowen Hills, under a development application lodged with planning authorities
Sentinel’s Build to Rent is Australia’s first Carbon Neutral Certified apartment building
July 2021 - Build to Rent project in Subiaco, Western Australia has become the first Carbon Neutral Certified apartment building in Australia under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings.
London Rental-Housing Operator Fizzy Living Offered for Sale
June, 2021 - U.K. affordable housing landlord Metropolitan Thames Valley is seeking to sell its London rental business Fizzy Living
Walton Enters the Single-Family Build-to-Rent Market Using its 81,000 Acre Land Portfolio Throughout the U.S.
June, 2021 - Walton Global Holdings has launched a build-to-rent (BTR) line of business that will leverage its more than 81,000 acres of land assets throughout the U.S. to create near-term opportunities for single-family home rental developments.
Backing the Build-for-Rent Housing Boom
JUNE, 2021 - BUILD-TO-RENT HOUSING IS ON AN UPWARD TRAJECTORY—THAT WILL KEEP GOING UP. “They looked at me like I had three heads,” Rodriguez recalled of his early BTR conversations with construction company leaders. “Now, it’s a larger and larger part of their business.”
Latest news from the PDI: THE BUILD-TO-RENT MODEL IN AUSTRALIA
February, 2021- The homeownership aspiration has long been an unreachable dream for young Australians, but the launch of the Build to Rent (BTR) model is offering a fascinating alternative to the traditional housing market.
Slumping apartment pipeline creates opening for BTR
June 2021 - The pandemic that has slashed Australia’s new apartment pipeline gives this country an opportunity to kick-start build-to-rent in the same way the UK did when the GFC’s brake on private development drove the growth of the sector there, JLL says.
Council Backs Melbourne's Marvel Stadium $400m Build-to-Rent Project
June 2021 - Build-to-Rent developer Home has the green light for two build-to-rent towers next to Marvel Stadium after gaining unanimous support from the Future Melbourne Committee this week.
Blackstone Snaps Up Empty Apartment Tower for 100m For BTR in Brisbane
May 2021 - Blackstone, one of the largest private equity firms in the world, has snapped up a brand new but vacant apartment tower in Brisbane’s inner-city suburb of Kangaroo Point, with plans to convert it into a build-to-rent asset.
A Whole New Way To Rent
April 2021 - The folks at Frasers Property believe there’s a time in everyone’s life to really live. Which is why their new project in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is designed to treat renters like rock stars, in a location that’s all about living in the moment.
Greystar’s $1.3bn Build-to-Rent Bet
February 2021- US build-to-rent specialist Greystar has secured its largest capital raising to date to support new projects being rolled out within Australia’s emerging build-to-rent sector.
The new $1.3 billion fund, Australia’s largest build-to-rent venture to-date, will aim to take advantage of shifting market trends, which has provided a catalyst in accelerating build-to-rent supply.
Is Build-to-Rent the next big thing in property?
January, 2021 - It’s an often-misunderstood housing type, but it’s now being tipped as likely to be one of the biggest commercial asset hits of 2021.
How build-to-rent is gaslighting Australians on housing affordability
January , 2021 - The build-to-rent model may not be the panacea that the private sector and state governments seem to think it is.
Australia to add 3,000 BTR Units by 2024
December, 2020 - COVID-19 has provided a catalyst that has accelerated BTR supply, with 3,000 units added to the pipeline in 2020.
Property Giants Enter Melbourne Build-to-Rent Market
December 2020 - Canada’s Oxford Properties has struck its first build-to-rent deal in Melbourne, acquiring a 7,000sq m development site in Footscray.
Experts predict a build-to-rent revolution coming to Australia
December 2020 - The number of homes built explicitly to rent out is set to take off in Australia over the next 5 years...
Cromwell Wins Green Light for Docklands Skyscraper
December 2020 - Cromwell Property Group will push on with development at 700 Collins Street, after receiving approval for its mixed-use build-to-rent apartment, office and hotel tower in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct.
Build-to-Rent Should be A Third of Apartment Pipeline: Report
November 2020 - Increasing the number of build-to-rent apartments to 50,000 over five years, is the quickest solution to increase housing choice, according to a report by Allens and Urbis…
Vellum Funds Management is partnering with Urban Property Group to launch a $1 billion fund to develop build-to-rent properties
October 2020 - The companies this week launched The Places Build to Rent Fund, inviting investors to participate in a $132 million capital raising that has attracted $66 million in pre-commitments.
Australian Groups Move on $1 Billion Big Apple Build to Rent Market
22 September 2020- Developer Lendlease has partnered with Aware Super, the rebranded First State Super, to launch its first major urban regeneration project in New York.
The Australian groups, which have partnered previously on a residential projects across the US, have secured a prominent waterfront site in Brooklyn, and will now move ahead with plans for a $1 billion build-to-rent project.
Mirvac signals new era in housing choice with official opening of build to rent community LIV Indigo
19 August 2020- After leading Australia’s push into the build to rent sector, Mirvac today signalled a new era in housing choice with the official opening of LIV Indigo at Sydney Olympic Park, the first residential community in NSW designed and built exclusively for renters.
Build-to-rent: The new model of property ownership promising more security and comfort
11 August, 2020 - There’s a long list of common rental gripes, from not being allowed to paint the walls to having to haggle about keeping pets or hanging paintings. And if the owner wants to move back in or sell the place? Start packing your boxes.
Tim Gurner, Melbourne lord mayor square off over build-to-rent
1 JunE, 2020 - Apartment developer Tim Gurner has slammed the emerging build-to-rent sector in Australia, calling it "economically stupid".
Mirvac pivot prompts build-to-rent boom
16 May, 2020- Diversified developer Mirvac is bolstering its Melbourne office and build-to-rent pipeline, submitting fresh plans for two large towers on a key city-grid corner site.
Australia’s build-to-rent is coming of age and it’s green
20 August 2020- NSW Minister for planning and public spaces Rob Stokes and Mirvac chief executive office & managing director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz at the opening of Mirvac’s first build-to-rent development LIV Indigo at Sydney’s Olympic Park.
Building the case for build-to-rent
28 July, 2020- Build-to-rent rewards good design, can create jobs and elevate health and safety standards in a post-pandemic economy, says Stantec’s principal John Lucchetti.
Build-to-rent growth spurt ahead
11 August, 2020- A weight of capital is looking to enter Australia’s build-to-rent market, says Savills, as fresh research suggests BTR will follow the UK’s growth trajectory where 8,000 units were delivered over five years.
Build-to-Rent Property: The Future-Proof Home & Investment
3 August, 2020- Select Property Group Managing Director, Adam Price, looks at tenant priorities post-lockdown and why build-to-rent could now be in-demand more than ever. A chance to work out what they value most from a home. Build to Rent was already the strongest residential proposition in the UK.
Plenty of potential for build-to-rent but support needed.
A CBRE analysis showed that Australia ranks among the top five markets around the world with the best BTR potential when all the investment fundamentals were taken into account.
Australian Build-to-Rent Potential On Par With A$18bn UK Boom
6 August, 2020- New residential development sectors are gaining traction in Australia, with completed co-living units up by 46 per cent and build-to-rent up 38 per cent during the past 12 months.
4 August, 2020- The NSW Government’s package of measures for the build-to-rent sector, including a 50 per cent land tax cut for 20 years, will boost supply and choice, says the Property Council.
Australian Super invests in affordable build-to-rent developer
3 August, 2020- Australia’s biggest super fund has invested in the evolving BTR sector which it says could help fill Australia’s critical affordable housing shortage.
Build-to-rent on the cusp of exponential growth
22 July, 2020- Australia's BTR sector has crossed a landmark threshold of 11,000 units during the past 12 months, with 10,000 more in due diligence, with investors favouring assets delivering reliable income streams amid the coronavirus pandemic, a CBRE report says.
Mirvac & Milieu collaborate in Build-to-Rent community
July 2020- Mirvac and Milieu have announced Albert Fields, a one hectare Build-to-Rent urban precinct in Brunswick, Melbourne, scheduled for completion in late 2024 that will provide the flexibility of renting with the security typically associated with home ownership.
Lone Star And Quintain Seek £1B Partner For Wembley PRS
27 July 2020- Lone Star is looking to bring in a funding partner on a £1B slug of the Wembley Park private-rented residential scheme being built by Quintain, the developer it owns.
'We’re the anti-real estate agent': inside Sydney's first built-to-rent apartment complex
July 2020 - In Australia’s rental model dominated almost entirely by mum and dad investors, Liv Indigo is putting power back in the hands of renters
BTR Could Be Poised For A £1B Quarter
10 July 2020- The build-to-rent sector could be about to see a big spike in investment volumes, following a sharp drop brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
NSW Pioneers Build-to-Rent in Redfern
6 July, 2020 - New South Wales will be the first state to fund a dedicated build-to-rent model, Minister for Social Housing Pru Goward revealed on Friday. The minister revealed that a Communities Plus housing site in Redfern would be home to the nation’s first ever build-to-rent housing model.
Build to Rent: what’s in a name?
June 2020- We have a very long way to go with BTR in NZ, but, irrespective, the potential is certainly very exciting indeed JLL’s research team, based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Big Institution In Advanced Talks To Buy £850M Dolphin Square In PRS Megadeal
22 June 2020- French investment giant AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets is in advanced talks to buy the famous 1M SF Dolphin Square apartment block for around £850M, in what would be by far the largest ever deal for a single UK rented residential asset.
Australia's largest Superannuation funds move on Build to Rent
June 2020- More than two years in the making, the deal is a show of institutional confidence in the viability of the local build-to-rent sector-previously overlooked for the higher yields of commercial office or traditional build-to-sell markets.
NSW push to boost Build to Rent housing
8 June 2020- As tenants move into the first commercial development in Sydney, Australia this month, the New South Wales (NSW) government will consider land tax changes that encourage the fledgling Build to Rent.
Accelerating build-to-rent in Australia - Allens
If these challenges are addressed, build-to-rent assets can provide steady income for investors, improve housing affordability in Australia, and give tenants.
‘This Could Be BTR’s Moment To Make Its Case’
27 May 2020- You don’t really know how resilient a new sector is until it has been through a recession. In that sense, UK build to rent is undergoing trial by fire. The sector is well-positioned to outperform other areas of real estate, according to a panel of experts.
Mirvac buys build-to-rent site for $200m
Dec 24, 2019- Mirvac will continue its revolution of the apartment sector with plans to put up a build-to-rent apartment tower at the former Melbourne Convention Centre site in Spencer Street which it snapped up for $200 million on Christmas Eve.
Accelerating Growth in Australia’s Build-to-Rent Market
26 November, 2019- Coinciding with shifts in international investment markets, a developing demographic profile and residential consumer sentiment have combined to enhance the prospects for the emergence of a build-to-rent sector in Australia.
It Is Not Developers Who Are Driving Quality In BTR, It Is Investors
20 September 2019- Although the UK’s build-to-rent sector is still considered to be in its infancy, it has grown rapidly across the country. In the first half of 2019, £1.4B of institutional investment poured into the sector, according to CBRE’s UK Residential Investment Marketview, which is 20% higher than H1 2018. Growth is expected to increase in pace even more over the next five years.
Grainger Update Highlights Resilience Of Rented Residential London
April, 2020- There is little data available to highlight how the nascent institutional private rented sector is faring in the face of the coronavirus. But a trading update by listed landlord Grainger indicates the sector is proving resilient so far, especially compared to other areas like retail and leisure.
BTR Investment Disappointed In 2019, But 2020 Is Off To A £1.5B Flyer
15 January 2020- Transaction volumes in the build-to-rent sector dropped 22% in 2019, according to new data, but 2020 is already off to a strong start.
Build to Rent | Ashurst
16 December 2019- Build-to-rent (BTR) is an innovative and exciting opportunity for the Australian property sector. It is no secret that the country's rental market demand is...
Build-to-rent (BTR) - an investment model to watch, South Africa
A Rare Glimpse At The Financials OF BTR Giant Quintain
23 October 2019- Just over four years ago, Lone Star paid a bit more than £1B for listed developer Quintain, and installed European co-head Angus Dodd as chief executive.
The Future Of BTR Goes Beyond City Centre Apartments, Say Investors
25 September 2019- Although the UK’s build-to-rent (BTR) sector is still considered new, it has already evolved. Both investor and societal pressures are pushing the model to adapt, to create the homes that customers want and to provide them in a way that suits our changing ways of living.
Cortland Continues UK BTR Expansion With LIV Group Buy
5 August 2019-U.S. investor and developer Cortland Partners has continued its assault on the UK build-to-rent market with the purchase of specialist operator and consultancy firm LIV Group.
Record Year So Far For BTR Investment
22 July 2019- Investment in the UK build-to-rent sector slowed in the second quarter of 2019, according to new data from CBRE. And yet, the first half still set a record for investment in the growing sector.
Can BTR Continue Its Record-Breaking Run?
10 June 2019- The build-to-rent sector is on a roll. The first quarter of this year saw a record £1B invested in the sector, according to CBRE, and a 34% increase in the number of units completed, according to Savills.
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