The Build to Rent boom in Manchester

Select Property reflects on the popularity and desirability of Manchester's Build to Rent sector through Affinity Living.

Affinity Living Riverside Build to Rent development | Select Property | BTR News
Affinity Living Riverside Build to Rent development.

Manchester took the top spot as a destination for landlords and was the most popular location to invest in 2023. JLL’s projection of a steady 4% annual rental price growth until 2027 signals the strength of Manchester’s Build to Rent market. 

The growth of the Build to Rent market in Manchester is propelled by graduate retention and the city’s magnetic appeal to young professional talent, drawn by its vibrant culture, warm employment market economy, and bustling food and drink scene.

“Although London has an attractive property market, many buyers have turned to other regional cities to achieve the highest possible growth from UK property investment.

“While the capital was once a lucrative option for property investors, its affordability ceiling means that value for money and rental yields are not what they once were. This has led many investors to the ‘Capital of the North’, Manchester, with average rental yields almost double that of London.

“Offering market-leading returns in the form of rental yields and strong capital growth, Manchester’s undersupplied rental property market underpins its strong investment potential.

“With an unrivalled lifestyle offering including a host of new world-class venues, a growing talent pool, and a graduate retention rate of over 50%, Manchester’s growth is only just beginning.”

Adam Price, CEO, Select Property – parent company of Affinity Living
Amenity space at Riverside | Select Property | BTR News
Amenity space at Riverside.

Thriving amidst the Manchester Build to Rent boom

As the demand for Build to Rent properties in Manchester surges, it has set a new standard in the rental sector, with tenants expecting more from their homes in the form of wellness amenities, home-working space, outdoor areas, on-site cafes, a pet-friendly policy and more. Property developers are engaged in fierce competition across the city to meet these heightened expectations.

Amidst this boom, developers like Affinity Living have achieved record occupancy rates by prioritising the delivery of exceptional living experiences. They have consistently upheld high occupancy rates, with 2023 marking a milestone year across their four central Manchester developments, boasting an average occupancy rate of 97% that has remained steady into 2024.

According to Adam Price, CEO at Select Property, their success stems from staying true to core principles of providing exceptional living experiences and a vibrant resident community.

“We’ve focused on innovation, constantly refining our offerings to exceed the expectations of modern renters. From introducing cutting-edge amenities to enhancing our resident services, we’ve remained agile and responsive to the evolving needs of our tenants.

“We put emphasis on creating communities in our buildings, through investing heavily into our free resident and community events, as well as amenity and integrated independent café partners, where we aim to foster resident relationships, as well as community and resident management.”

Adam Price, CEO, Select Property – parent company of Affinity Living
Communal space at Riverside | Select Property | BTR News
Communal space at Riverside.

Manchester renters’ wish list

Location remains a key pull for Manchester’s Build to Rent tenants, with 31% of Affinity Living residents identifying location as the primary consideration when choosing a new home, as revealed by recent resident research conducted by the residential brand.

Post-Covid trends highlight a surge in pet ownership, with Affinity Living’s inclusive pet policy attracting nearly 10% of its residents and 25% of residents having pets. 

High-quality amenities and communal spaces are emerging as pivotal factors for Build to Rent developments to attract tenants, such as shared lounge areas, co-working spaces, resident gyms, cinema snugs, terraces and outside spaces. 16% of residents were drawn to Affinity primarily due to high quality amenities.

“While location absolutely remains top of the wish-list for most renters, it’s much harder to stand out in a busy Build to Rent market with new developments cropping up in prime locations all the time. We have had to consider other ways to stand out by creating exceptional living environments.

“We’ve invested heavily in high-quality amenities and resident services, ensuring that our properties offer a lifestyle that surpasses expectations.

“Our resident engagement initiatives, such as regular community events, create a sense of belonging and loyalty among our tenants. By continually innovating and enhancing our offerings, we’ve cemented Affinity Living as a preferred choice for renters amidst Manchester’s Build to Rent boom.”

Adam Price, CEO, Select Property – parent company of Affinity Living
Apartment at Riverside | Select Property | BTR News
Apartment at Riverside.

Affinity Living offers luxury living in the bustling heart of Manchester, across four apartment communities. With pet-friendly studios and one-bed to three-bed apartments, residents enjoy expansive layouts, stunning views and premium amenities. Located moments from Spinningfields, Affinity Living places Manchester’s vibrant offerings right at residents’ fingertips.

Beyond beautifully designed private living spaces, Affinity Living offers a dynamic community atmosphere with shared lounge areas, co-working spaces, resident gyms, cinema snugs, terraces, and regular free events and activities. Welcoming pets of all shapes and sizes and encouraging personalisation of living spaces, Affinity Living apartments allow residents to choose exactly how they want to live. Redefining rental living, they provide a superior renting experience where every detail is carefully designed to enhance residents’ lifestyles. 

Bedroom at Riverside | Select Property | BTR News
Bedroom at Riverside.

Select Property is a leading UK property developer, operator and investment specialist, with global offices in Manchester, Dubai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Since 2004, the company has sold over £2.74bn of property and paid £214m to global investors in rental revenue.

Specialists in the premium Build to Rent market, Select Property has a track record of delivering outstanding accommodation through its Affinity Living brand and its Prestige Collection. They also played a pivotal role in the growth and development of Vita Group’s student portfolio – Vita Student along with CitySuites.