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Build to Rent is on the rise with Watkin Jones

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Build to rent is on the rise again with a five-year growth plan that has been said to be in place with Watkin Jones, ‘the UK’s leading developer and manager of residential for rent schemes’.

Specialist private rental flat and student accommodation builder Watkin Jones now has a strong pipeline in place of 26 sites across the country.

Richard Simpson, new Chief Executive Officer of Watkin Jones, said: “Despite the difficult macro environment caused by Brexit-related uncertainty, the group has delivered further profitable growth, in line with expectations.” (1)

“Richard joined the Watkin Jones Group as Chief Executive Officer on 2 January 2019. He has 15 years’ experience working in the property development and student accommodation sector, most recently as Group Property Director at Unite Group plc, the FTSE250 manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation. Prior to starting his career in the industry, Richard served for six years in the British Army.” (2)

It has been said that revenue rose 3% to £375million last year up until September which generated a £52million profit which is up 4% from last year. Operating margins at the business reached 14%.


Currently in the student accommodation sector, the firm have secured a development pipeline of 17 sites, with 6,670 beds and a development worth a whopping £630million. Just this year the firm plan to deliver seven schemes including 2,609 beds and also plan to deliver a further seven sites with 3,253 in 2021. Their future pipeline includes prime sites such as Exeter, Edinburgh, Bath and Birmingham.


Looking at the build to rent sector, the firm currently have nine sites, including Wembley and Reading which are under construction. These schemes will deliver 2,300 apartments up to 2023 within the South East area and the Midlands. Sites are located in Birmingham, Sutton, Leicester, Hove and Brighton. (1)

According to Savills, the Build to Rent sector has grown by 15% since Q4 2018 and there are just over 152,000 Build to Rent homes across the UK. (Including those in the planning pipeline) It’s also not just the market that’s rising, the average size of Build to Rent schemes have also increased, especially outside of London. It has been said that investors have been recognising the buy to let investment in smaller cities. (3)


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