The Conservative Housing Minister, Mark
Prisk, has made some bold claims about the immediate
future of the lettings industry.
Speaking at the Law Society in London, he outlined his
predictions. He foresees enormous growth in the sector, coupled
with some significant changes to the way that the business of
renting property is structured. The rapid growth of
build-to-rent is to underpin much of this
He said: "For too long, our housing markets have been
dysfunctional. For much of the past two decades, we have been
consistently building half of what we needed, year on year.
"The result has been a serious imbalance between supply and
demand, and while this has led to potential opportunities for
investors, there are significant social consequences too.
"So as a government, we've had to step back and adopt a new,
comprehensive approach to the problem. An approach which reaches
across all tenures - owner-occupied, affordable, and private rented
- understands the relationship between the three, and seeks to
address the deep dysfunctionality in supply and demand."
Mark Prisk demands "bigger and better" rental
Continuing his speech, Prisk compared the British property model
to the more lettings-friendly styles favoured abroad: "Put simply,
we want a bigger and better private rented sector, a sector in
which large scale and experienced institutional investors can help
the market not simply grow, but also to mature.
"Small-scale individual landlords operate around the world, but in
many countries, such as the US, Germany and Switzerland,
institutional investment in the private rented sector is much
stronger and more established than it is here. Evidence from those
markets shows that where institutional investment is stronger,
costs are driven down and the sector becomes more professional,
with a longer-term perspective.
"That's what we want to encourage here. It's a change which has
the potential to underpin sustained growth of the entire private
rented sector, and offer beneficial changes to the market as a