Build to Rent developers are moving to the regions to meet surge in housing demand

Property developers are turning to regional cities to meet growing demand for housing. As house prices have outstripped wage growth in the capital, people are now moving to cities like Manchester and Birmingham for more affordable homes.

On our latest podcast, “BTR in the regions: Boddington’s Regeneration”, for PropCasts by Blackstock Consulting, we interviewed Ed Fowkes, development director at Prosperity Capital Partners. Ed revealed their approach to development in the regions and details about their  Old Brewery Gardens build to rent (BTR) scheme in Manchester.

Prosperity Capital Partners are helping Manchester expand north with their BTR scheme on the historical Boddington’s Old Brewery Gardens site. The scheme offers over 550 high quality flats to rent, as well as townhouses with their own private gardens and playground for children.

“We think about our future tenants as long-term customers, and want them to become fans of the product we offer. This includes the quality of the homes we build as well as the amenity spaces we create, encouraging them to interact and know each other. Be it yoga outdoors, or gardening on the building’s rooftop, the amenities we deliver encourage people to know each other”, said Ed Fowkes during the PropCast interview.

Due to institutional investment in BTR products as emerging assets, developers are taking a long-term view of what they offer. Unlike the Buy to Let landlords that do not benefit from such investment, BTR developers are thinking about the tenants’ long-term living experience.

“Our commercial imperative is to think about rents now but also think about them in 7 years’ time”, added Ed. “We bear in mind that we’re trying to convince the tenants to make the place we build their own home, not just a space to rent.”

The Old Brewery Gardens BTR scheme will also offer commercial space for light industrial workshops, supporting small and medium sized businesses in the area. This incorporates the history of the Manchester area and helps people interact with the local industry.

“What we build and offer must be meaningful not only for the tenants, but for the whole local area, encouraging and supporting businesses to thrive”, said Ed.