The private-rented sector will not take off until there is a planning change which levels the playing field with build-for sale, delegates at the Property Week Student Accommodation Conference 2014 heard today.
BlackRock director Paul Tebbit said he did not believe the sector would be a good investment for institutions until there is a change on affordable housing requirements.
He argued for an asset class that has no tradable secondary market yields were still keen in comparison.
Greystar Real Estate Europe managing director Nathan Goddard agreed, arguing there should be an exemption for section 106 requirements when PRS units are held over a seven year period or more.
Knightsbridge Student Housing chief executive Bob Crompton said that part of the difficulty with creating scale in the PRS was due to having to negotiate on each deal with local councillors.
He said his company was aiming to build a PRS portfolio of 10,000 new homes over the next five years.
However, Crompton said UK renters did not want the same service as the more established US multi-family model “with hog roasts every Wednesday” - but instead cared about the ease of renting for example with a concierge to collect parcels.