The majority of MPs are supportive of the build-to-rent (BTR) sector and a growing number believe the tenure will make a bigger contribution to housing supply over the next five years than it does today, according to a new survey.

BPF BTR confidence

Of the 157 MPs surveyed by ComRes on behalf of the British Property Federation, 75% said they supported the BTR sector and its contribution to UK housing supply.

Support was strongest among Conservative MPs. Some 72% also said they thought BTR would make a greater contribution to housing supply over the next five years than it currently does, up from 66% last year.

“It’s significant that a higher proportion of MPs from both major parties are more confident in the  capacity of the sector to grow the size of its contribution to housing supply, outstripping levels of confidence reported in any other housing sector,” said Ian Fletcher, BPF director of real estate policy.

The survey also revealed that confidence in the ability of all other tenures to deliver more homes is waning. For example, 24% of MPs said buy-to-let would make a bigger contribution to supply over the next five years, down from 30% last year.

Boost to the sector

Fletcher said growing policy support for BTR was set to give the sector a further boost.

“The sector has been growing over the past five years without any form of planning blueprint from government, but this is now changing,” he said.

“The government’s recently revised National Planning Policy Framework now ensures local authorities across the country will identify their local rental housing need and it explains how to treat a planning application from the BTR sector.”

There are now 117,893 BTR homes in planning, under construction or completed in the UK, compared with 90,761 homes at the end of Q1 2017.