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Will a build-to-rent scheme launch in Australia?

Build-to-rent is beginning to gain traction as a very real prospect for Australian real estate. 

Put simply, build to rent has been tabled in a bid to address housing affordability in Australia. It would see developers build housing with the intent of retaining the properties and renting them out, rather than selling them off. 

Some of the country’s biggest development firms are already putting plans in motion to establish the sector; Mirvac is planning to launch Australia’s first build-to-rent scheme, Stockland is venturing into London and parts of the US and Knight Frank have announced a new residential investments division with the core focus of build-to-rent. 

The concept would see developers obtain financial backing from a major institution such as a superannuation fund which would enable them to build on a large scale, with a long-term view to rent the housing at a more affordable rate. There are, of course, taxation and regulatory measures that need to be addressed to make build-to-rent a viable option in Australia. The NSW government has already said it will establish a working group to look at creating a 'build-to-rent' housing sector in the state.

The scheme is already established - and quite advanced -  in America, and is gaining popularity in the UK. As the concept continues to spark discussion, Australia may very well be the next in line.