Scottish housebuilders appoint private rented champion

The housebuilding sector north of the border has appointed Gerry More, former board member at Cala Homes, to help drive the development of the private rented sector in Scotland.

The appointment by Homes for Scotland is the result of an initiative started in 2013, which saw the industry body look at the rental sector. Research backed by the Scottish Government, and carried out by the Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research, and the London School of Economics, identified a need for 465,000 new homes in Scotland by 2035. The Building the Rented Sector project identified the need for a “champion” to drive forward initiatives in the private rented sector, which is acknowledged as having a major role in the delivery of the housing needed.

More told the Scotsman newspaper the institutional investors have still to get into the PRS, but that there are examples of them taking a stance in similar sectors: “It’s not something that’s there just now, but if you wanted a good corollary it’s probably the student accommodation market. That’s a £20 billion sector, and we haven’t got anything similar in the private rented sector yet, but there’s a lot of interest in it.”

Other recommendations in the report were the establishment of a limited-time working party to identify and monitor pinch points in delivery; creation of a benchmarking system so that investors have better property performance information; and an analysis of who is in the rental housing market, to understand new opportunities more clearly. In addition, the report came up with several further recommendations relating to housing development, and in regard to how institutional investment can be matched with development.

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