BTR News Build to Rent (BTR)

Moda Living pre-lets 25% of final phase of Angel Gardens

Moda Living has agreed to pre-let 25% of the final phase of their flagship Angel Gardens Build to Rent scheme in Manchester.

Build to Rent operator, Moda Living and joint venture partner Apache Capital have agreed a major corporate pre-let of 25% of the final phase of Angel Gardens – signing 50 of 200 available apartments at the 35 storey, residential tower in central Manchester. 

The tower marks the launch of the final phase and the completion of Angel Gardens – and the apartments officially go to market for reservations on 24 June. Over 200 people are on the waiting list to reserve an apartment in the final phase when lettings ‘go-live’.

“Today’s announcements are a real testament to the quality of development we have created at Angel Gardens with Moda Living, having signed a major corporate pre-let, maintaining rent levels and achieved 98% rent collection rate during one of the most challenging and uncertain economic environments in recent history.”

Richard Jackson, Co-founder and Managing Director, Apache Capital Partners

With the corporate letting and 33 further lettings during April and May, Moda and Apache Capital’s announcement highlights that despite the uncertainty facing the wider housing market, the Build to Rent sector is well positioned to recover from the coronavirus-induced downturn. 

Moda has also pioneered the launch of a special tenancy allowing potential housemates to rent a 2-bed sharer – making the proposition more accessible to the wider market. With over 300 enquires already, the referencing process explores interests and hobbies to pair suitable parties.

“Our Build to Rent projects are introducing a completely new way of living, providing more opportunities, amenities, options and facilities than ever before, with an especially strong commitment to their local communities and businesses.”

Johnny Caddick, Managing Director, Moda

A shift in housing priorities

New research from JLL shows a shift in housing priorities for renters, with private outdoor space, faster broadband and a private home working area now more important. Pre-Covid-19, 79% of survey respondents worked from home less than once a week, and 2% worked from home 3-4 days a week. Now, 18% of employees would hope to work from home less than once a week and 24% would like to work from home 3-4 days. 

“The future of living is changing; now more than ever it is focused on flexibility, connectivity and wellbeing especially in light of the pandemic. 

“Consumer needs are changing – showing increased demand for workspace at home, greater connectivity and ample access to amenities. The pandemic has exacerbated these trends – our Angel Gardens development is seeing increased interest because it was designed with these needs in mind from the outset.” 

Johnny Caddick, Managing Director, Moda

The corporate occupier securing 50 apartments at Angel Gardens said that high-quality work from home facilities, a fully integrated resident app, a focus on health and wellbeing outside space, and one of the city’s fastest internet connection speeds were the deciding factors – combined with an on-site team delivering 24/7 cleaning, safety and security.

“COVID-19 has accelerated many pre-existing trends, such as the shift towards agile and remote working. As a result, consumers will want places to live that cater to flexible working patterns and, as the recent JLL research highlights, modern lifestyles more generally, which is exactly what we are providing in each of our Build to Rent developments with Moda.”

Richard Jackson, Co-founder and Managing Director, Apache Capital Partners

Emerging trend

There is also evidence of a further emerging trend as the number of renters is set to overtake the number of homeowners in certain demographics. Research by The Royal Bank of Scotland forecasts that renters aged 35 to 44 will outnumber mortgage holders by 2029 – leaping from 29% to 47% in the next nine years, as those with mortgages fall from its current level of 48 per cent.

The economic climate produced by the coronavirus is accelerating this trend with the economic uncertainty and rising unemployment making it harder for young families to save for a deposit, especially with savings rates at rock bottom.

“As the residential world starts to reawaken following the pandemic, Build to Rent is emerging as one of the most resilient real estate sectors.

“As an asset class, it is closely aligned to some of the needs emerging from the lockdown, from tech innovation that improves quality of life, to advanced manufacturing solutions that de-carbonise new stock, and build supply chains that reduce the cost of retrofitting old stock. 

“Build to Rent is also an asset class that serves a dual purpose of driving a commercial return and providing a true social good.”

Simon Scott, Lead Director, UK Living Capital Markets, JLL

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