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Fresh market analysis has shown that the build-to-rent sector (BTR) has gone from strength to strength in the last year, rebounding from a decline in completions caused by the initial outbreak of Covid-19.

Sirius Property Finance compiled BTR sector completions between 2019 and 2021 to see how the sector had fared since the start of the pandemic and how this performance compared to the pre-pandemic landscape.

The figures show that during 2020, BTR completions totalled 11,808. This marked a -14% drop in BTR developments reaching the market when compared to 2019 when there were 13,686 completions.

National Landlord Investment Show – MPU

This decline was driven by sector activity outside of London, with regional completions falling by -35% year on year.

However, across London, the number of BTR completions actually climbed by 34% in 2020, reaching a total of 5,704.

Over the last year, the London market has also seen the number of BTR completions climb by 19%, reaching a total of 6,780 in 2021.

But it’s the BTR sector outside of the capital that has driven top-line growth on an annual basis, with a 29% increase in completions pushing the total figure across the nation to 2,852 in 2021 – a 24% overall increase on 2020.

As a result, total BTR completions hit 14,660 in 2021, 7% higher than the pre-pandemic total seen in 2019.

Managing Director of Sirius Property Finance, Nicholas Christofi, commented:

“The build-to-rent sector has been moving at a phenomenal rate in recent years and it has become a strong area of focus for housebuilders of all shapes and sizes.

Of course, some pandemic decline in this rate of growth was only to be expected, but we’ve since seen this decline reversed and the total number of completions reaching the market in the last year has actually exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

Of course, London remains the key area where build-to-rent performance is concerned and while the capital’s residential sales market has lagged behind much of the UK during the pandemic property market boom, the build-to-rent sector has continued to go from strength to strength within the boundaries of the M25.”

Rate of build-to-rent completions prior to and since the start of the pandemic
Area 2019 Change % ( 2019 to 2020) 2020 Change % ( 2020 to 2021) 2021 Change % ( 2019 to 2021)
London 4,251 34% 5,704 19% 6,780 59%
Regions 9,435 -35% 6,104 29% 7,880 -16%
Total 13,686 -14% 11,808 24% 14,660 7%

Completions data sourced from BPF

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