Journal article

New dawn or chimera? Can institutional financing transform rental housing?

Private rental Rental housing Institutional investment Australia

Mainly stimulated by concerns over inadequate housing supply, both the UK and Australia have recently seen renewed policy-maker interest in channelling ‘institutional investment’ into rental housebuilding. This has coincided with the recognition that – as seen in both countries – ongoing changes in the demographics of expanding private rental sectors reinforce the need for new forms of provision. Drawing on recent ‘informed stakeholder’ perspectives in both countries, we build on existing accounts through our analysis of barriers to institutional financing of rental housing and our investigation of what, if any, fundamental changes in market conditions and investor sentiment have recently occurred, so that such obstacles might potentially be overcome. Further developing this story, we compare and contrast recent ‘policy reform’ recommendations proposed in both countries with the aim of stimulating institutional investment in housebuilding. Although impediments to large-scale institutional funding for rental housing remain substantial, we conclude that, should it take off, such financing could significantly affect the structure and quality of provision – especially via the involvement of not-for-profit landlords.

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