The government has been banging the drum for new housing for years, with its 300,000 target tattooed on the sector’s collective mindset. But what the government doesn’t say, and what we at Moda know to be true, is that a big chunk of those new homes need to be rental stock.
There are 21 million residential properties in the UK and 20% of those, meaning around four million properties, are rented by the people living in them. So, when we hit that 300,000 target, at least 20% of those should be purpose-built rental properties. That’s 60,000 new homes for rent every year and currently, there are very few parties even thinking about delivering those.
There is a huge market to be captured with quality new rental homes, and that’s why institutional investors, with their vast experience and success in this market globally, are queuing up for opportunities to get stuck into the UK.
At Casa, we’re excited to have capital behind us already, putting us in a unique position that means we can get going straight away and start to deliver the quality new housing the UK so desperately needs – we are expecting our first Casa residents to move in before the end of next year.
The communities will all feature beautiful homes with open-plan spaces, designed to maximise natural light with an emphasis on contemporary interior design. The homes will be complemented by lots of public spaces, including new parks. All the Casa neighbourhoods will be designed and laid out to foster long-term communities and to allow our residents to truly live the Moda life.
But it’s not enough just to build new homes and hand over the keys – those days are fast disappearing. Casa will build on the customer service expertise gathered from its build-to-rent portfolio and apply the knowledge we have to make our Casa neighbourhoods as wellbeing- and lifestyle-optimised as we can.
To do this, we will encourage and facilitate communities with services and initiatives filtered through from our BTR platform, which includes a bespoke app that will give residents 24/7 access to the Casa operations team and the ability to communicate directly with other tenants that are sharing their community on site.
Our company-wide focus on ESG will also play a significant role in the design of the Casa homes and neighbourhoods. The houses will be fitted with our partner Utopi’s technology, the same as our BTR neighbourhoods. The smart building management systems and sensors will keep living conditions optimal for residents, while helping them manage and process their energy in a more efficient, sustainable way.
It has been an amazing couple of weeks finally getting to tell our industry peers about this exciting new venture for Moda Living – one that has been years in the making. Now we’re ready to get going and are seeking sites across the UK with space for 50 homes or more.
In the meantime, we look forward to working with our industry partners to continue to revolutionise the way people live, work and play in the UK by building modern, safe and secure new homes for all. We call it ‘everybody homes’.
Rob Gill is acquisitions director at Casa by Moda