New research on Scotland’s build to rent sector has highlighted a significant gulf between England and Scotland on planned BTR homes, with Scotland having 4,000 homes built, in planning or under construction compared to 124,000 in England.

Fourth Ports Harbour Gateway, Newhaven, Edinburgh

Forth Ports’ Harbour Gateway BTR scheme in Edinburgh

The authors of Rettie & Co’s research paper suggest that while there is rising demand and favourable conditions for marked growth in Scottish BTR, the sector is “not punching its weight” relative to the rest of the UK.

Leading the way in terms of BTR pipelines in Scottish cities is Glasgow with 1,795 BTR homes planned including Central Quay and Holland Park, compared to 1198 in Edinburgh, 460 in Aberdeen and 228 in Dundee.

Hazel Sharp Webb, head of BTR at Rettie & Co, said: “The numbers show that Scotland is not punching its weight on BTR, but at least we are now punching and the opportunity is huge. Investor interest is starting to accelerate and there is much more of an acceptance of BTR from Scotland’s local authorities who now realise it is not just a premium product, consistent with the Scottish Government which is fully behind BTR and its ability to help solve the chronic undersupply of housing in this country.”

Recent data from the British Property Federation highlighted that there are now more build-to-rent homes in the UK regions than in London and that the total number of BTR homes nationwide has increased to 124,037 completed, under construction or being planned nationwide at the end of Q2 2018 compared to 117,893 at the end of Q1.

Last month, Rettie & Co’s development services division was appointed by regeneration group Places for People (PfP) to support in the delivery of one thousand affordable homes across Scotland backed by a long-term loan of £47.5m from the Scottish Government. The government north of the border is targeting the delivery of over fifty thousand affordable homes by 2021.