A bigger rental sector
This story strikes me as good news.
The UK is set to experience a boom in American-style mass-produced rental homes as part of proposals by a consortium that meet a government call for greater institutional investment in the residential market.
Aviva insurance group,is to launch an investment fund with as much as £1bn to buy and rent out swaths of new-build residential property in partnership with CB Richard Ellis property consultancy and a big US residential manager.
The venture will order purpose-built residential blocks of 100 units or more in south-east England to rent out, mainly near big transport hubs and on significant regeneration sites that have stalled because of the economic downturn.
The partners have based their strategy on a US model of large-scale, multi-family rented housing. They say that it will be the first of its kind for the UK, providing thousands of homes for the private rental market, which is dominated by amateur landlords and buy-to-let investors. Rental property is a much bigger business in the US and across northern Europe.
I’d prefer the State to be building more public housing but this seems to me to be a good start. As I’ve said before (here and elsewhere) I’d prefer house prices to be lower. Developing a bigger, and better run, rental sector can only help.