A call for evidence will launch in the next month with housing minister Grant Shapps determined to break the “institutional belief against institutional investment” in the UK rented housing market.
Mr Shapps announced last month that Sir Adrian Montague - Skanska’s non executive director - will lead a review of barriers to investment in rented homes.
Sitting before the Communities and Local Government Select Committee yesterday, Mr Shapps said the call for evidence will happen in the next month, with a report expected to reach him in the summer.
Mr Shapps said: “I think there’s an institutional belief against institutional investment in this country, and that is what I’m trying to break.”
He said Sir Adrian - also the chairman of the advisory board to the Green Investment Bank - will look into what needs to be done to move investors into the market.
“I think there have been some early signs of progress, with some of the potential private institutions, the likes of Aviva, starting to register their interest in a way we have never seen before.
“There has been a little bit of a rush to that, so I’m hopeful.”
But he added that he did not want to “overegg” the chances of a major shift in the next five years. Mr Shapps said many see rented property as complex or difficult, but are starting to appreciate there is a stable market. He said the government has introduced incentives such as technical changes to stamp duty, so institutional investors are not disadvantaged, and real estate investment trusts.
Mr Shapps also told the committee that the government has released enough public land to house builders to construct 80,000 homes – running ahead of schedule as it aims to hit 100,000.
He also encouraged councils to embrace the “build now, pay later” scheme, urging them not to sit on land that could be used to house the population.