Build To Rent (BTR) refers to the emerging sub-market in private rented residential stock, designed specifically for renting rather than for sale, typically owned by institutional investors and managed by specialist operators.

With the shortage of housing across Scotland, acutely felt in Edinburgh and Glasgow, there is a strong case for BTR considering these market conditions. On a 5-year basis, the compound annual growth rate of private sector rents is 5% in Glasgow and 4% in Edinburgh. Time to let has also plunged, down from its normal 25-30 days in both cities to around 10 days in the Q4 2021 Citylets quarterly analysis .

BTR in Scotland has only really emerged as a sector over the past five years, with operational schemes at volume currently concentrated in Aberdeen. In Edinburgh and Glasgow, there is a strong pipeline of stock in planning or under construction (around 10,000 units in total), but to date, only a limited number of units have been made available to the market and are occupied.

However, the Scottish Build to Rent (BTR) sector is continuing to grow. Its membership organisation, the UK Apartments Association (UKAA), has just launched in Scotland, chaired by Gillian McLees, Director of BTR here at Rettie The UKAA has been working on setting up groups across the UK, with a view to helping local BTR markets to develop and grow. Every major UK city now has some level of BTR activity.

Read more about the Build To Rent sector and the work of our Director of BTR Gillian McLees, here .