21 Jan 2019

Policy area: Residential Investment/Management


A surge in build-to-rent led developments is set to boost city-living, part of the Scottish cities’ agenda to power economic growth, with Glasgow now in the top five cities outside London for the number of homes in planning, under construction and complete.

Research published by the British Property Federation (BPF) shows that the total number of Build-To-Rent homes (BTR) – new high quality and professionally-managed homes built for renters – under construction across the UK has increased by nearly 40 percent, with developments outside London being given the greenlight at a faster pace than those in the UK capital.

In Scotland, a drive to boost city-living is behind the development of large-scale build to rent projects, particularly in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.  This is supported by the continued exemption of large-scale Private Rented Sector (PRS) investments from the Additional Dwelling Supplement tax.  

According to the figures produced by Savills, Scotland has 3,745 BTR homes actively being developed, an increase of 11 per cent in six months, with Glasgow accounting for 2,180. Many thousands more homes are known to be in the planning pipeline with investor appetite strong, but translating this into real homes and communities remains a challenge.  

There are now 139,508 build-to-rent homes complete, under construction and in planning across the UK – an increase of 22 per cent over the last year. The number of homes completed and in planning have also increased by 29 and 10 per cent respectively.

For the first time, the total number of completed build-to-rent homes across the UK regions has caught up with the total in London with 14,615 completed homes in the regions and 14,801 in the capital.

As build-to-rent continues to grow, it has also been able to diversify its offer, with 15 per cent of schemes in the pipeline including houses, rather than just typical high-rise apartments.

David Melhuish, director of the Scottish Property Federation said:

“There is significant potential and investor appetite for BTR to add much needed supply to our housing stock and to boost the cities’ desire to encourage city-living. Glasgow is clearly at the forefront of this building boom but there are also significant proposals in both Aberdeen and Dundee as well.  New BTR-led developments are by no means the only answer to our housing crisis but they can also play a much needed and significant role in revitalising our city centres”

Notes to Editor

Number of BTR homes across the UK, Q4, 2018:

About the Scottish Property Federation

  • As a membership organisation, the Scottish Property Federation (SPF) is the voice of Scotland’s real estate industry.  Established in 2007, the SPF represents 185 organisations operating in Scotland.   We include among our members: property investors, including major institutional funds; developers; landlords of commercial and residential property; and professional property consultants and advisers.  The SPF works closely with those who advise and decide on public policy in Scotland to ensure that they are aware of the consequences of their decisions for the property industry and wider economy.  
  • As part of the British Property Federation (BPF) we also benefit from close links with the leading UK property companies and investors in the UK as well as the BPF's contacts with Westminster.
  • For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @ScotPropFed.
  • For further information please contact Colin McFarlane, or Elizabeth Lambley on 0131 554 1230.