By Kylie Newcombe | 28 Feb 2023

Sydney siders see benefits in the build to-rent proposition not associated with typical rental properties.

We surveyed 1,000 Sydney residents on their thoughts on build-to-rent, defined as ‘when organisations (typically large) develop and manage apartment buildings as 100% pure rental’. When presented with a list of perceived benefits we have uncovered in previous research, they were asked which features increase their interest – 36% indicated ‘control over how long you live there’ making this the number one benefit. 

The chart below shows customisation, maintenance and amenity also feature.

9% liked that ‘everyone is on the same level’, and 7% were interested to ‘participate in events and activities’.

It’s important to note the social impact build-to-rent can have in a time when property owners are searching for how they deliver social value.


Who are the typical customers?

Our research may challenge assumptions about who the customer is. They are likely to be diverse in terms of age, family situation and where they currently live.

Not just for the young…

While certainly holding strong appeal for the Millennial cohort, some Baby Boomers can also see the attraction.  40% of those residents likely to consider build-to-rent are aged 25-34 years, and 19% are aged 55-74 years.

Not just for singles and couples…

Of those who are likely to consider build-to-rent, 48% are families. There is an opportunity for developers in this space to design family friendly apartments and communities and make that important social impact.

For developers, the customer base is likely to be diverse. This means being in tune with the nuances of specific markets.

Kylie Newcombe

So, who is interested in build-to-rent?

15% of Sydney residents said they are likely to consider build-to-rent if looking at rental property. A further 32% are somewhat likely.

All in all about half of Sydney residents in the survey would be open to considering build-to-rent. This suggests trust in the model, and it being a welcome addition to a market with supply, quality and trust issues. Regardless of whether they are renting, build-to-rent is seen as a positive disruptor for a sector in need of change.


Not only apartment dwellers…

Current house dwellers are also interested in build-to-rent. Of those who are likely to consider build-to-rent, 55% don’t currently live in apartments.



Not just appealing to renters…

You might think those most interested would be currently renting. While that is showing in our survey, mortgage holders and outright owners can also see the merit of the concept.

The data suggest that build-to-rent provides flexibility for people at different stages of tenure.


Not just for inner urban residents…

The below map shows those interested are distributed across Metropolitan Sydney, and are not just inner city dwellers.

  • 14% live in Inner South West
  • 14% live in Sydney City & Inner South
  • 12% live in Parramatta
  • 11% live in North Sydney and Hornsby
  • 10% live in Inner West

Parramatta is an attractive area for apartment living and that is reflected. It’s a high amenity area, growing and seen as a place to be for some residents.

Click to enlarge. 

Our build-to-rent experts are passionate about the success of this sector. We look at the opportunities from many perspectives and that includes customer sentiment, which can be overlooked in a landscape of numbers. It is more than balance sheets – it can make a positive social contribution.

Kylie Newcombe

The survey indicates residents in the rental market would embrace the opportunity to live in a build-to-rent community.

Sydney residents however, will have to wait before these apartments are the norm in the rental market. Urbis’ Rental Intelligence Dashboard reports a pipeline of 1,434 build-to-rent apartments in Sydney, which includes those under construction and with development approval. By comparison Melbourne has a pipeline of 12,407 build-to-rent apartments.

Get in touch with our team to find out more about opportunities in the build-to-rent market.

Kylie Newcombe View Profile
Mark Dawson View Profile
Dylan Gray View Profile