The Diversification Of Build To Rent: A Spotlight On Demographics

Renting isn’t as simple as it used to be. Build to Rent schemes are catering to ever-more diverse demographics, the needs of which developers and operators are still getting to know. This new wave of renters sees quality rental accommodation as a worthwhile, cheaper alternative to buying a home, but their demands can differ considerably.

To remain an attractive lifestyle prospect, developers must have a sense of who they might be building for. Let us clarify the matter, then, by breaking down three key demographics, and what they may be looking for.

1. Urban Professionals

This is already a core demographic for the majority of rental homes, but Build to Rent is going to make attracting urban professionals more competitive. Plus, as people are no longer treating rental accommodation as a ‘stop-gap’ between graduation and marriage, schemes must create spaces that professionals and executives can call home.

Professionals are time poor, and therefore value convenience. They want travel provisions, such as train lines, tram stops and parking, on their doorstep, as well as locations that put them in the heart of the action. Schemes that include on-site amenities such as mail services, concierge, gyms and coffee shops also fare well amongst this demographic.

2. Over 55's

Traditionally, renters were seen to be young, relatively nomadic, and focused on the first rungs of their career. Home comforts may not have been high on the value list of many PRS projects. However, the market is gaining traction amongst mature renters, and they have different priorities.

Comfort is very important to this demographic; they’ll tend to appreciate a living space they can spend a lot of time in. Beyond that, over-55s are increasingly prone to desiring the same facilities as the young: that is, a closeness to bars, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Looking ahead, it’s also pertinent to consider what Build to Rent retirement and care communities may require, in which older and more vulnerable tenants have access to 24-hour professional facilities, providing a safe environment for independent living in later life.

3. Young Families

As home ownership is a more distant concept than it used to be for those setting out in life, rental schemes are also attracting more families. Couples who feel comfortable in their surroundings often stay on in their apartments when starting a family, and this must be factored into the design and furnishing of Build to Rent schemes.

The same is true of the property’s exterior – security is a large concern, especially for city centre apartments. Amenities like on-site parking also become important, giving families an easy means of getting around with young children.

As the Build to Rent sector diversifies, developers need access to suppliers who can truly cater to the needs of renters at every stage of life. LOFT Interiors can do just that, working with you to ensure furnishings meet evolving tenant demands. Call us now to learn more about how we can help.