Aviva Investors is not investing in build-to-rent (BTR) as it “doesn’t meet an investor need”, according to Aviva Investors head of UK real estate research Tom Goodwin.

In an exclusive Investment Property Forum podcast for Property Week, Goodwin questioned the need for institutions to be exposed to BTR when the majority of demographic demand was within single-family mid-market housing.

“Any product development or addition to the portfolio is driven by underlying investor need – and for us, at the moment multi-family or private residential blocks don’t meet an investor need,” he said.

His comments were made as the panel, which included IPF research director Pam Craddock and Real Estate Strategies founder Malcolm Frodsham, argued that from an institutional perspective investors were more interested in “letting to a family who will want a degree of certainty in their tenure”.

Craddock said: “Broadly speaking and this may be only anecdotal, but they look after their property better than maybe if you have a transient population of students or young professionals coming in and out and moving through a city. Is multi-family part of the future for institutional residential exposure?”

All three involved in the panel debate, which was chaired by Andrew Teacher, managing director of consultancy firm Blackstock, voiced scepticism about the market’s current growth assumptions for industrial assets, arguing that the diverse range of properties in the sector made forecasting difficult.