Developers behind the UK's BTR boom

Some of the developers behind the UK's BTR boom

To bring a build-to-rent scheme to life is an arduous process that involves different stakeholders. In our last article, we looked at some of the major investors financing build-to-rent developments in the UK. Now, we switch our focus to the developers making the biggest impact on the BTR market. We will look at the biggest developers dedicated to building accommodation designed to improve the current standard of living and security of renters in the UK.

As we mentioned before, many parties are involved in bringing a build-to-rent scheme to fruition; investors, developers, building managers, and so on. Today we look at some of the developers on the build-to-rent market in the UK.


Quintain has been part of the UK's real estate market since its founding in 1992. It debuted on the London Stock Exchange in 1996 and was later acquired by the US private equity group Lone Star for more than £700 million.

Now, among other things, Quintain owns large parts of Wembley Park and has penetrated the BTR market through its brand Tipi. Moreover, the developer has planning permission to build 8,500 homes. So far, Quintain has completed 3,000 homes and has schemes in Boxpark Wembley, Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre and London Designer Outlet.

Speaking of build-to-rent, Tipi has become one of the most recognizable rental brands in the country. Launched in 2016, Tipi announced in 2017 that Wembley Park was to become the largest BTR development in the UK promising to deliver 5,000 by 2024.

Criterion Capital

Criterion Capital is a large developer with £3.5+ billion assets under management including 21 commercial properties in London.

In terms of residential development and investment, Criterion Capital has 3,247 flats in the pipeline. What’s more, the developer’s plans are to build around 5,000 build-to-rent homes in the next five years. Now, some of its schemes are Croydon, Park Lane, Sutton and Norbury, and developments in Bracknell and Basildon.

Moda Living and Apache Capital

Moda Living and Apache Capital is a partnership committing £1 billion to expand its build to rent portfolio in the UK. With 5,000 units in its pipeline, this joint venture aims to establish itself as the largest owner of purpose-built accommodation in the country. Some of its build to rent schemes are set to open in Manchester, Liverpool, York, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Brighton & Hove.

Sigma Capital

Unlike most developers on the BTR market who build large apartment blocks for rent, Sigma Capital has focused on delivering single-family homes through its Simple Life brand.

For the next five years, the company aspires to build 20,000 family homes for rent in key regional cities. Among its most recent projects has been the development of 298 new apartments in Broughton Village, Salford. In collaboration with Countryside, this £40 million project will offer a mix of one, two and three-bedroom units sprawled across 4.7 acres of land. With this latest development, Simple Life’s expands to 2,000 properties across the country.


Greystar, an American developer, stepped onto the UK's build-to-rent scene early in an attempt to replicate the success of the multifamily in the US.

Greystar entered the UK's purpose-built student accommodation and rental housing markets in 2019 and plans to deliver 10,000 BTR units in London by 2022. The company is also behind the development of the world’s tallest modular tower in Croydon, expected to have 546 BTR apartments.


Grainger is a renowned name on the UK’s real estate market. The company’s current BTR pipeline includes 24 build to rent schemes (completed or in progress).

Most recently, Grainger spent £57 million to forward-fund and acquire a build to rent development at Capital Quarter in Cardiff. In addition, the company’s BTR schemes expected to launch 2020, and deliver over 1,000 new homes, are Solstice Apartments in Milton Keynes; Millet Place at Pontoon Dock in London; Apex Gardens at Seven Sisters in London; and The Filaments in Greater Manchester.

Get Living

Get Living is a trailblazer on the UK's build-to-rent market. The company gained popularity when it invested in the Athletes’ Village for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Get Living has ambitious goals and wants to construct 12,000-14,000 homes in the country. Now, most of its 3,000 homes are across its two London schemes in East Village, as well as Elephant Central in Elephant & Castle, with a smaller scheme in Middlewood Locks in Manchester. But the developer’s portfolio might soon expand as it was recently announced that a whopping £250 million has been raised from a Swedish pension fund. The money will be poured into Get Living’s development pipeline.

“Get Living continues to target large-scale development sites across the UK that comprise 400 units or more once complete to create vibrant residential-led neighbourhoods, as well as stabilized assets, forward funding and corporate acquisitions,” said the official statement about the investment.