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Build to rent, Australia’s housing solution

25 November 2019 Lyall Russell
Housing development site

Each year, Australian cities rank high by the Economist Intelligence Unit as some of the world’s most liveable cities, but that could come to an end if the demand for housing was not met.

Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide are at risk of falling as one of the top 10 liveable cities in the world as population growth puts pressure on accommodation.

As a result, 1.6 million homes and 500,000 new rental properties need to be built in the next decade.

“Our major cities risk facing an acute housing shortage. Inner-city areas along our eastern seaboard only have 1.5 years’ worth of apartment supply under construction, with a more limited pool for sale beyond that,” Urbis director Mark Dawson said.


Urbis and Allens have produced a new research that identifies build to rent (BTR) as a quick solution to increase choice and capacity of accommodation, at scale.

However, the current policy settings create a barrier for BTR to be a viable option, but support from the government could change that, Allens managing associate Tim Chislett said.

“BTR supporters aren’t necessarily asking governments for more favourable concessions than other asset classes; they’re simply seeking a level playing field. With some key policy changes, BTR’s potential will be unlocked,” Mr Chislett said.

The areas that would need to be addressed by the government includes managed investment trusts, land tax and planning.

“BTR holds a key to addressing Australia’s growing housing problems; governments just need to unlock its potential,” Mr Dawson said.

A thriving BTR sector provides a range of economic and social benefits, Allens partner Michael Graves said.

“It’s no longer about owning a house. There’s a need for accommodation that’s close to work, offers high-quality amenities and guarantees security of tenure, and BTR delivers on all these demands,” he said.

Build to rent, Australia’s housing solution
housing development site reb
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