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- March 1, 2016: Vol. 10, Number 03

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I like this place: Is the private rented sector finally establishing itself in the United Kingdom?

by Richard Green

“I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it” wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It. And it may be that the British are now getting to like a new kind of place to live in, one already much better known in many other parts of Europe and North America.

The private rented sector (PRS), institutionally-owned and professionally-managed developments of rental homes (known as multifamily housing almost everywhere else, but what’s in a name), is now finally taking root in the United Kingdom.

A new product for the nation

Rental accommodation in the United Kingdom has traditionally been delivered by social housing providers and a fragmented army of individual and small-scale buy-to-let investors — more than 2 million of them. In 2013, for the first time, the latter provided more homes than the former as rates of social housing, as well as home ownership, continued to fall — a trend that has been dubbed “generation rent”.

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