Manchester sees strong interest in building homes for rent

Developers in Manchester are looking to grow a substantial private rented sector in the city, to accommodate a growing local population of young professionals.

The city’s universities attract a large number of students each year, and many of them are happy to stay on in the city they have come to call home, once they have completed their courses, so long as they can find a job, and a place to live. The 2011 census recorded a 20% increase in the city’s population over the previous decade.

As a result, there is strong interest in taking a position in a growing rental market – but schemes still need some support. Figures reported by trade magazine Property Week reveal private rental development projects in Manchester accounted for one third of the applications to the Build to Rent scheme from the government, representing a potential 10,000 homes. Build to Rent helps provide interim finance to get projects built, with the government looking to make a commercial return and get their loan back, once projects are completed and let, by a commercial sale to a long term institutional investor.

“The city has been able to retain its graduates, and the private rented sector is very attractive to them, because young people generally don’t have the deposit required for owner occupation,” according to Deborah McLaughlin, north-west director of the Homes & Communities Agency, which is running Build to Rent. Build to Rent is particularly useful as investors can be wary of funding developments before they are completed and rental income is flowing in.

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