In January 2016, Paragon Group commissioned the authors to write a report about the role of the private rented sector (PRS) in the UK and the contribution to it through the Buy-to-Let subsector. The report explores recent changes in government policy and how they will affect the PRS, and makes suggestions about how the sector can play an effective role in the UK housing system.
The immediate reasons for undertaking this study are the changes in taxation and regulation that the government has announced over the last year and the changing attitudes to private renting, particularly with respect to Buy-to-Let among policy makers and those responsible for macrostabilisation and regulation.
A more fundamental reason lies with the rapid growth of the PRS across the UK which has more than doubled since the turn of the century supported by the expansion of the Buy-to-Let market. Much of our understanding of how the sector operates is based on data and analysis which refers back to earlier in the century and even further and the sector has not been fully tested in the new post Global Financial Crisis environment. This research aims to bring together the best available data to clarify both the current position of private renting; its role in the overall housing market; and where it might be heading.