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Build-to-rent should be Australia’s future, property pundit says


Tower crane on apartment buildingBuilding developments for the sole purpose of renting could help tackle housing affordability problems, a property industry leader has claimed.

Mirvac chief executive and Property Council president Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz has told the QUT Business Leaders’ Forum that a build-to-rent strategy is “something that should exist in Australia”.

“It’s an opportunity to have much more affordable housing,” she said.

Lloyd-Hurwitz said build-to-rent didn’t exist in Australia for a host of reasons, including the low yield caused by tax structures.

Renters could face tough market ahead

“It doesn’t exist as an asset class, but elsewhere in the world build-to-rent is the largest real estate investment asset class,” Lloyd-Hurwitz said. “Investment asset class is the most highly valued income stream in real estate but in Australia, we insist on thinking about it as a capital gain play and that is what stops institutional income-focussed groups from taking on build-to-rent.”

Lloyd-Hurwit urged all levels of government to support the build-to-rent industry. She pointed to the UK, saying build-to-rent did not exist in the country six years ago, but now represents £6 billion in development.

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