UK rental properties don’t meet the needs of modern-day tenants, with the vast majority (83%) stating they would pay more for a property that did. VIEW ARTICLE
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Hot on the heels of their recent acquisition of NW Estates, Ascend Properties has wasted no time at all in keeping up with the current flurry of M&A activity in the estate and letting agency space, today announcing their purchase of Rent Smart UK. The deal for the North Manchester based lettings agency was completed on 1st March.
Ascend Properties have ambitions to operate up to a total of ten estate and letting agency branches within three years and are evidently fulfilling this aspiration quickly.
The acquired Rent Smart UK business has 240 buy-to-let properties in its management portfolio and will retain its name and its staff, including Director Melanie Hughes, who will continue to manage the office day to day alongside the Ascend management team.
As with all of Ascend’s acquisitions, Rent Smart UK will now benefit from the support of their larger parent company boosting marketing, technology, finances and profile.
Ged McPartlin, Managing Director of Ascend Properties says
“We’re quickly acting on our ambitions to expand our sales, lettings and management reach across the North of England and we’d still love to hear from smaller independents that would be interested in a sale or a collaboration.
“As you can see, we don’t seek to simply sweep in and change everything and generally want to maintain existing brands and certainly the people and we want to work with businesses that are already well regarded in their areas. Ascend can then add our own expertise and significant resources and ‘super-charge’ these acquisitions to even greater success.”
Ged McPartlin can be contacted at [email protected]
Build to rent completions are estimated to double by 2025, according to a forecast from build to rent (BtR) specialists, Ascend Properties.
Build to rent properties are typically owned by funds, institutional investors and real estate investment trusts (REITs), which unlike regular types of housing are designed and built specifically for residents.
Year on year completion trends
Between 2017 and 2018, the number of new build to rent completions reaching the market grew by 1%.
The sector then gained serious momentum between 2018 and 2019, with new completions jumping by 54% on an annual basis. To put this momentum into perspective, new build completions excluding build to rent increased by just 6% during the same period.
With Covid causing havoc across much of the market in 2020, it’s no surprise that just 10,158 new build to rent completions have reached the market, resulting in a year on year decline of -20%.
However, it is estimated that this decline has been more pronounced across the rest of the new build sector with an -28% fall in completions for non B2R new builds, which once again highlights the strength of the build to rent sector in the current market.
Overall sector growth
Despite this stutter in new completion levels, the overall size of the market continues to increase. Between 2017 and 2018, the cumulative total number of build to rent completions saw the sector grow by 36%.
The build to rent sector then grew by a further 41% between 2018 and 2019. Despite the decline in new completions during 2020, the stock that has reached the market means the build to rent sector has grown by a further 23% cumulatively.
Forecasted sector growth
Based on the best available data for the sector, Ascend forecasts that a further 73,535 build to rent completions should reach the market by the start of 2025. In addition to the existing 53,750 build to rent completions already within the market, this forecast could see total build to rent stock hit an estimated 127,285 completions.
Managing Director of Ascend Properties, Ged McPartlin, commented:
“The build to rent sector is an increasingly important part of the market, and we see that trend continuing over the next five years.
There’s a growing recognition that owning property may not be the norm in the future, as is already the case in numerous other European countries. In the UK’s most expensive regions such as London, many already rent for far longer than we’ve seen traditionally and while we remain a nation of aspirational homeowners, not everyone is as focussed on realising this aspiration.
Therefore it’s important that residents are able to live in high-quality properties fit for their needs. Build to rent fits this gap perfectly, so it’s no surprise that the sector has seen an impressive level of growth in just a few short years, as well as a notable level of investment.
We’ve seen a number of big housebuilders and institutional investors shift focus towards the build to rent sector in recent years and it has become an integral part of forward planning where stock delivery is concerned. Those yet to realise this are likely to be playing catch up as the sector continues to build momentum in the coming years.”
Ascends forecast on Build to Rent completions by Q1 of 2025 done based on historic Build to Rent sector data and using an Exponential Smoothing Forecasting model (ESF), including interpolation, accounting for seasonality, and based on a 95% confidence interval.
The build to rent sector now accounts for 1% of all UK rental properties, having surged by 135% according to the latest research by (BtR) specialists, Ascend Properties.
The build to rent sector has gained momentum in recent years and it’s clear to see why. Previous research by Ascend found that there are now 2.4m more of us living within the rental sector when compared to a decade ago, so developments designed and built specifically for renters are more in demand than ever.
While build to rent properties are appealing in terms of their modern design and living standards, they also provide an additional sense of community via shared areas such as gyms, lounges, dining areas and other social outlets such as games rooms.
Ascend’s research shows that just four years ago, there were 22,831 build to rent properties in the UK rental market, accounting for just 0.4% of private rental stock. In London, the level of build to rent stock was greater, with the 12,709 build to rent specific properties accounting for 1.2% of the total rental market.
In the three short years since, the sector has grown considerably. Across the UK, build to rent now accounts for 53,750 homes within the private rental sector. That’s a 135% increase in build to rent stock since 2017, with the sector now accounting for an estimated 1% of all UK rental properties in the private sector.
While this might not sound a lot, the private rental sector itself has grown by just 0.3% since 2017 where the total estimated number of private rental homes is concerned.
Again, the impact of the build to rent sector is even more notable in London. The sheer volume of build to rent stock in the capital has increased by 109% since 2017, with the current total of 26,625 accounting for 2.5% of all private rental properties in London
While the London rental market has grown at a considerably faster rate than the wider UK, it has still seen just a 4% estimated increase in total private rental stock since 2017, further highlighting the impressive growth of the build to rent sector within this space.
Managing Director of Ascend Properties, Ged McPartlin, commented:
“Although build to rent has been around for quite some time, it’s only in recent years that the sector has started to become a serious area of focus for many big housebuilders.
This growing trend is clear when analysing the overall rental market and the increasing number of build to rent properties within it, with the sector now accounting for an estimated one per cent of all private rental properties.
However, this impressive growth is just the tip of the iceberg and we expect to see the share of rental homes accounted for by build to rent continue to grow.”
Sigma Capital Group plc is one of the leading providers of BtR family houses across the UK, and is an Investment Advisor to The PRS REIT plc. Sigma has a unique delivery platform, working closely with housebuilding partners, investors, Government, local authorities and managing agents alike to deliver a long-term, high quality product and an exceptional customer service for residents, whilst also delivering a complete and long term solution for investors. Sigma has delivered over 4,291 new homes (as at September 2021) for rent across the UK on behalf of The PRS REIT plc, which will rise to an imminent total of 5,200 new homes. Sigma has also delivered over 1,600 homes for Gatehouse Bank’s two fund streams: UK PRS and Thistle.
Gatehouse Bank is a UK Bank specialising in buy-to-let finance, commercial property finance and more. Gatehouse Bank setup two major BtR funds, consisting of around 2000 properties in total, and appointed Ascend as the sole lettings and property management agents. Through effective and efficient management, the portfolios were extremely successful and increased in value over the course of circa 5 years, which later resulted in Gatehouse Bank selling one of their BtR portfolios that was reported as a ground-breaking deal within the industry.
Simple Life is one of the UK’s leading private rental brands focused on the provision of high quality, new rental houses. Owned and created by Sigma Capital Group plc, the Simple Life portfolio now has over 3000 completed homes (as at December 2020). Simple Life offers renters the security of long-term tenancies, a professional service and total peace of mind that their rental journey will be made easy. In 2020, Ascend was appointed to asset-manage the Simple Life regional portfolio on behalf of Sigma.
Live DifRent is a portfolio of Build to Rent regional homes which has been under Ascend’s management since Q1 2019. It consists of an investment fund managed by Gatehouse Bank and Sigma Capital Group plc, with property sites located in various areas across the North West and West Midlands.
Grainger Plc are one of the UK’s largest professional landlords, operating since 1912. Since establishing a solid partnership in 2017, Ascend have worked with Grainger on a variety of lettings projects, including: Clippers Quay (Salford Quays), Tribe (Ancoats/New Islington), Indigo Blu (Leeds), as well as other sites across the North.
A consumer brand of Select Property Group, Ascend was appointed as the official lettings agency for this Build to Rent development which opened in January 2020. Throughout the partnership, Ascend has delivered many innovative ideas, from exclusive launch events to Virtual Reality tours.
International developer and Build to Rent manager, Atlas Residential appointed Ascend as lettings agent for the Anaconda Cut scheme, a 44 storey Europa Capital-funded block, that was announced as the tallest building in Salford. Ascend implemented a focused lettings strategy on a clear target audience to promote Anaconda Cut.
Thistle is a Build to Rent property fund of almost 1,000 units which was developed by Gatehouse Bank and later sold to Goldman Sachs in 2021 for c. £150m, the largest transaction of its nature in the UK to date.
As well as migrating the properties from a previous agent, with no disruption to service, Ascend increased rents and revenue prior to Goldman Sach’s purchase. Through our expert analysis, the Build to Rent team were able to renegotiate rents which resulted in rent rises of 14% for new tenancies, plus almost 6% uplifts for renewals. This generated a blended revenue increase of over £300,000pa for the portfolio.
Efforts from all team members resulted in such success for the portfolio; the Asset Managers were able to provide an excellent service to the residents so that they were either happy to renew their tenancies and/or prepared to pay an increased rental amount for the high standards received from their dedicated point of contact.
Investments and growth in the Accounts department also helped to increase revenue. From the outset, Credit Control teams significantly reduced rental arrears, whilst Financial Controllers reported on financial gains and patterns in the data. The IT development team, another area of growth for Ascend, also supported this as they were able to better present the data and improve the invoicing process, thus ensuring reconciliation.
In 2020, Ascend were officially appointed by build-to-rent and regeneration specialist, Sigma Capital Group plc, as their Principal Regional Lettings Partner. Following this appointment, Ascend assists with the lettings and asset management of Sigma’s large and growing regional portfolio of new-build family rental homes, consisting of 5,200 properties once all homes are built. All homes are marketed under the ‘Simple Life’ brand, which aims to set a new standard of customer care in the private rental market.
As a result of this partnership, Ascend’s total number of managed properties has increased to over 10,000 units. This new mandate with Sigma cements its position as the largest lettings management agency specialising in single-family homes in the fast-growing build-to-rent sector.
Sigma Capital Group plc is in the process of delivering portfolios worth over £2 billion over the next few years, and has over 2,000 new homes currently under development across the regions. With Sigma Capital Group plc’s medium-term growth plan to own 35,000 properties across the UK in place, it offers exciting opportunities for both companies over the coming years.
‘We have been working with Ascend on various portfolios now for over 2 years and have found their standards of service and performance to be excellent and entirely aligned with our own. The partnership approach they adopt when working with our portfolios does make them feel like an extension of our own team, rather than an external service provider, which has produced great and consistent results in all areas of their instruction. A great group of people, they are highly effective and are a breath of fresh air within the lettings and property management arena.’
Rob Sumner, Residential Investment Director, Sigma Capital Group plc
*Some housing development and street scene images on this website have been provided by Simple Life.
We have been working with Grainger plc since 2017. Throughout projects, we used our extensive knowledge of the industry to increase lettings for a number of their developments.
Ascend were chosen to manage Clipper Quays, Grainger’s largest development outside of London. We were initially tasked with pre-letting the first block (150 units) of this development prior to build completion, then the remainder of the units once Clippers Quay opened its doors.
Ascend’s marketing strategy was put into action and after implementing a specially designed Clippers Quay marketing suite at our Deansgate branch, 50 units (33%) of phase 1 were pre-let within 3 weeks. Since then both phase 1 and phase 2 have been let, with the latter achieving an increase of 25% on rental return.
“Ascend has used their extensive knowledge of the industry to successfully increase letting for a number of Grainger developments in recent months… We are delighted with Ascend’s quality of work, vast market knowledge and the support of its dedicated BTR team”
Sam Brown – Lettings Manager (North) for PRS and BtR at Grainger plc
Due to our success with Clippers Quay, Grainger appointed us on their iconic Kings Mill Dock development in central Liverpool, Tribe in Manchester, Indigo Blu in Leeds and multiple sites across the North.
Anaconda Cut is a development that features a range one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments set over 44 storeys, with amenities including a gym with staffed personal trainers, yoga studios and a sky lounge. Atlas Residential, national developer, appointed Ascend as lettings agent for the Europa Capital-funded apartment scheme.
Ascend implemented its own marketing strategy prior to build-completion, which helped to boost interest in the apartments and assisted in the lease-up of the building.
Ged McPartlin, Managing Director, Ascend said:
“We had an incredible twelve months dealing with leasing homes across some of the most outstanding new residential developments we’ve ever seen in Manchester and Salford. The popularity of Clippers Quay and Anaconda Cut show the demand for high quality homes is very strong and are attracting residents who are new to the city centre and living here for the first time.”
In 2019, Ascend were appointed as the sole agent for Affinity Living’s new Build to Rent development in Salford, Riverside, which spans across 17 storeys and comprises of 190 one, two and three bedroom apartments. As our team were letting units off-plan prior to build-completion, we utilised virtual reality technology in order to give applicants a feel for what the units had to offer without physically being in the building. After working with the client and drumming up interest for the development, we planned a virtual launch event to invite applicants and enquirers to have their very own virtual tour of the apartments on offer, along with a section of the room displaying the furniture packs and other interactive parts of the event to highlight the fantastic amenity spaces and community feel within the development. The event was extremely popular with applicants and our lettings team there on the night managed to secure a great amount of lets from one evening alone.
To keep the momentum going, we setup a virtual show home within our Deansgate office for anyone that wasn’t able to make it to the launch event. Our lettings team were also able to send the virtual tour via email to applicants and guide them in real time through the apartment tours over the phone, which proved very popular and successful.
Helen White, managing director of Affinity Living:
“Ascend has demonstrated an excellent understanding of our Affinity Living brand, which is about far more than providing incredible apartments.”
Ascend Properties Snaps Up NW Estates – With More To Come
With the market booming thanks to the current stamp duty holiday, many estate agents are optimistic about their future prospects and the overall property market, even with the March 31st deadline fast approaching.
In fact, some of them are even putting their money where their mouth is, despite the current backdrop of economic uncertainty.
None more so than ambitious independent estate agency Ascend Properties.
Ascend Properties is a young business with branch offices in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Monton and the West Midlands.
Describing themselves as savvy and ‘unordinary’, the team is led by Ged McPartlin and David Giovanni with nearly half a century of industry experience between them. They don’t just talk the talk either, having won a total of four ESTAs and a whole host of other awards since 2015.
Building on these foundations, McPartlin and Giovanni have set out an ambitious expansion strategy and have declared that they are ‘open to acquisition opportunities’. The proof is in the pudding and they’ve started with what must be one of the first estate agency transactions of 2021, the purchase of NW Estates in Warrington.
NW Estates is a very well-established estate and letting agent with an impressive 320 homes under management. This has clearly been one of the main attractions for the acquisition by Ascend, who also has a considerable and rapidly growing inventory of 10,000 build to rent properties under management.
Access to the Warrington market compliments Ascend’s existing north-west territories and allows them to anchor even firmer roots in their quest to dominate the region with the goal being 10 further business purchases within three years.
Q&A with Ged McPartlin, Managing Director of Ascend Properties:
Q: Why expand now?
Ged: ‘Because we are in a strong financial position with a solid business in major parts of the north-west and we now want to fill in the gaps. If you have a winning, profitable formula even in uncertain times, you can have confidence in expansion even if some estate agencies may want to call it a day given the bumpy ride the industry has had of late’.
Q: What’s your ultimate goal?
Ged: ‘We have six offices now, all run by fantastic teams of industry experts, and we intend to treble that by 2024’.
Q: What happens to NW Estates now that you’ve completed on the purchase?
Ged: ‘It won’t look much different from the outside, It’s a great local brand with fantastic people working within it and that all remains as is. We’ll add our secret-sauce to it and benefit from the economies of scale that the larger Ascend business provides. Our marketing and approach to technology support will really supercharge the branch now’.
Q: What’s your criteria for future acquisitions?
Ged: ‘I’d love to hear from estate agency firms with between one and three offices that are in great locations across the region and with a strong property management book and stand-out values. Strong teams and decent market share are important but we’re not necessarily looking for the ‘loudest’ branch in a town but those that have deep roots in the community and staff that we can invest in. Authenticity and integrity are super-important to us’.
Ged McPartlin can be contacted at [email protected]
The proportion of the population relying on the rental market in England has grown by as much as 5% in the last decade, according to the latest research by (BtR) specialists, Ascend Properties.
Ascend Properties analysed government data on dwellings stock across England looking at what percentage of the population are residing within the rental sector compared to the housing market, and how this has changed in the last 10 years.
Current market make up
As a nation, we’re obsessed with bricks and mortar and so it’s no surprise that homeowners account for by far the largest proportion of the market. The latest data shows that owner occupied properties make up 63.9% of the current market, with private rentals accounting for 19.4% and properties rented through housing associations or local authorities accounting for 16.7% of the market.
However, this reliance on rental homes is higher in London where 21.9% of the population live in rented accommodation. Yorkshire and the Humber (19.7%) and the East Midlands (18.8%) also home to some of the largest rental markets in England.
10 year change
Although we remain a nation of homeowners there are signs that this obsession is starting to wane. Ascend’s research shows that across England, the number of people residing within the rental sector has increased by 3%, from 16.4% a decade ago, to 19.4% today.
While that might not sound like a lot, an increase of 1.022m dwellings with an average of 2.3 people to a dwelling means there are now an estimated 2,360,495 more people living in the rental sector
The North West (+3.8%), Yorkshire and the Humber (+3.6%) and West Midlands (+3%) have also seen some of the largest rental market increases in the last decade.
The South East has seen the smallest increase in the proportion of people renting, but even still, the region has seen an increase of 0.7%, while the level of homeowners has dropped -0.6%.
Managing Director of Ascend Properties, Ged McPartlin, commented:
“There’s no doubt that we are seeing a shift towards a preference to rent, if not indefinitely, then certainly until a later stage of life.
This is being driven by issues surrounding housing affordability, with property values continuing to climb at a far higher rate than available earnings, which is causing aspirational homeowners to save for longer in order to get a foot on the ladder.
However, we’re also seeing a societal change in terms of our attitudes towards renting and the freedom and flexibility it provides. You need only look at the phenomenal growth of the build to rent sector in recent years which has been driven by the sheer demand for rental properties designed specifically for purpose.
Repurposed housing stock is largely inadequate for the modern resident and doesn’t fully meet their needs with regard to space, living standards or the additional aspects that a build to rent property can provide, such as social areas and onsite amenities and community spirit.
As the build to rent sector continues to grow in size, it will become increasingly more likely that residents will opt to remain in the rental sector and we expect to see this increasing rental market share seen over the last decade continue to gather serious pace in the future.”
Manchester-based build-to-rent (BtR) specialist Ascend has secured more than 1,000 lettings and reservations since the coronavirus lockdown eased.
The company enjoyed its busiest period of 2020 between May and July, reporting a 56 per cent increase in activity on the same timeframe during 2019.
A total of 455 lettings and reservations were secured across BtR sites for customers including Simple Life, Different, Grainger and Affinity.
Anticipating an even larger growth in the demand, Ascend has invested in its team by appointing nine new employees.
Ged McPartlin, managing director of Ascend, said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see the appetite for high quality, aspirational rented homes, despite the coronavirus restrictions uprooting everyone’s lives significantly.
“The growing BtR sector, rooted in its new approach to how and why people rent, shows just how vital it is to understand what residents want from a rented home.
“This is at the heart of what we do at Ascend and is why we have a proven track record as a leading BtR and lettings specialist.”
Build to Rent (BtR) specialist, Ascend, has collected 99% of all invoiced rent during the coronavirus crisis.
The Manchester-based company has reported the figures from the period January-September 2020, which includes the period of national lockdown in response to COVID-19.
During this time Ascend has collected almost all rent owed on its growing national portfolio of BtR schemes, which comprises two- to four-bedroom apartments and houses in developments ranging from 50-100 properties.
The industry average for rent collection has been 95%.
Ascend has worked closely with its residents throughout the pandemic to ease their concerns and provide individuals and families with flexible terms where needed.
The company agreed payment plans with the people worst affected and then worked closely with residents to get their payments back up-to-date.
This flexible approach has enabled Ascend to identify those residents who require extra support, while maintaining a high-level of rent collection for clients.
Ged McPartlin, managing director, said: “We all know how tough this year has been for many people, without adding housing worries into the mix.
“We understand just how vital it is to provide high-quality rental homes in the areas where they’re most needed – and to protect those renters who might require extra support from time to time.
“By putting our residents’ individual circumstances first and being flexible in our approach, we’ve worked hard to collect almost all invoiced rent.
“This is testament to our track record as a leading BtR specialist, our knowledge of the sector and what people need from an agent, especially at difficult times.”
Ascend’s BtR clients include Gatehouse Bank, Live DifRent, Sigma Capital Group and Simple Life.
To support its ongoing growth, Ascend has added more than 20 people to its BtR team in 2020 and intends to expand the team by a further 50 in 2021.
Manchester-based Build To Rent (BtR) specialist, Ascend, has reported outstanding income increases for their client on the latest BtR fund it manages for Gatehouse Bank.
Having successfully migrated the 1,000 homes, the business is set to continue maximising returns on its BtR platform.
Ascend’s BtR property portfolio predominantly comprises two-, three- and four-bedroom houses, located across the North West and Midlands.
In the past nine months the business analysed the portfolio using bespoke, in-house software to identify opportunities for rent reviews – thus delivering greater yields. This was achieved by extracting data from online sources, which was cross-referenced against the company’s own market intelligence.
So far, the rent on just under half of the properties included in the portfolio has been renegotiated, resulting in more than £300,000 blended revenue increase.
Rent increases on brand-new tenancy agreements are up 14%, alongside a four per cent uplift in rent for renewals for existing residents in line with market rates. This translates into an 11.5% increase for two-bedroom BtR properties and a 9.1% premium on three-bedroom properties.
The BtR specialist has also used its platform to reduce rent arrears by 25%, using market-leading tenant profiling to ensure only reliable payers are accepted.
To secure the total success of this project, Ascend has grown its award-winning team to a 90-strong unit, with significant investment in its dedicated BtR asset management department.
By 2022, Ascend expects to grow the number of BtR properties it manages to more than 10,000.
Ged McPartlin, managing director of Ascend, said: “Build To Rent is a primary focus for us moving forwards and it continues to present fantastic opportunities for the growth of our company.
“The results we have secured to date reflect our expert knowledge of the sector and showcase how we’ve embraced innovative prop-tech platforms to help drive efficiencies.
“Our expert team’s substantial branch presence in key locations, such as Manchester, Liverpool, Salford, Leeds and the Midlands, is grounded by strong in-house capabilities, which give us a competitive advantage.
“We look forward to building on these robust foundations to further grow our BtR portfolio into 2020 and beyond.”
Manchester-based build to rent (BtR) and property management company Ascend has been buoyed by a record 2019.
The company achieved a turnover of £3.4m in 2019, representing a 30 per cent year-on-year increase.
In the same period, it bolstered its BtR partnerships, bringing the total number of units under management to 4,000. Ascend is now in the process of finalising partnerships with institutions regarding even larger contracts that will be brought on board in 2020.
Managing director Ged McPartlin said: “Now we can reflect on 2019, it’s obviously been an amazing year, cementing our position as a major BtR player in the North and across the Midlands.
“It goes without saying that we owe our success to the great team we have developed at Ascend. Their continued hard work, professionalism and expertise in the sector is the core of what we do.
“As we go into 2020, we are building on this phenomenal momentum.”
Manchester-based Build to Rent (BtR) specialist, Ascend, hosted a virtual reality (VR) event to showcase Affinity Living’s Riverside development.
The 17-storey residential tower, which boasts stunning views across Manchester and Salford, comprises a mix of 190 one, two and three bedroom apartments for rent.
While works to the build were ongoing, Affinity Living tasked Ascend with maximising early rent opportunities for local people. With no site access possible, Ascend embraced VR to showcase the high-specification apartments to prospective residents, providing a firsthand experience of the stunning new properties.
The event, which took place at Manchester’s five-star Lowry Hotel, offered around 50 potential customers a 360-degree virtual tour of the whole development, with accurate, detailed insight into the apartments’ design and finish.
On the night itself, 20 units were reserved. Within four weeks of the event, 35% of the apartments were taken.
Speaking on the success, Ged McPartlin, managing director of Ascend, said: “Technology has redefined how we’re engaging with our customers. Embracing VR meant that we were able to give Affinity Living customers a truly interactive look at the finished apartments during the extensive renovation project. This tech-first approach takes the future of real estate, and how we are communicating with prospective residents, to a whole new level.”
Ascend was appointed as the sole lettings partner of Affinity Living Riverside scheme in 2019. The properties are a prime example of how BtR schemes are providing residents with a more flexible way of living.
The apartments offer free broadband, co-working and communal spaces – as well as being just five minutes’ walk from central Manchester hotspots, including Spinningfields. Residents can bring pets, and there are no limits when it comes to personalising the space.