Last week we had the pleasure of attending the Place North West ‘North West Rental Market’ conference at the Science and Industry Museum in Deansgate, that promised to highlight ‘build-to-rent, co-living, and more’ in the UK rental market with a diverse list of speakers and panellists.
Opening the conference, Melissa Wilson, Assistant Director at Deloitte, discussed the build-to-rent (BTR) market in Manchester and the sheer scale of development that the city has experienced over the last decade since BTR became popular in the UK, highlighting that occupancy levels are consistently high and that there is an increasing focus on ESG in the industry that is difficult to balance while still offering a residential experience that is attractive to renters.
“Manchester is still operating in terms of schemes going through planning, schemes going on site, and being delivered, at a level that is much higher across the residential sector but particularly in the build-to-rent sector” Melissa Wilson, Assistant Director at Deloitte.‘‘
Following on from Melissa’s presentation, she joined a group of other industry experts to discuss the current state of the market, where topics such as rent controls, how young people want to live, and the demand for energy efficient properties were touched upon, with the panel agreeing that rent controls are not the answer for the market’s rising rents, but that we simply need to build more homes to meet the demand for residential properties in the UK; as to impose a rent control would diminish the interest of investment from both private and institutional investors which would in turn prevent new properties being built and the problem only getting worse for the rental market.
The panellists also agreed that there is still a “lack of understanding in the country as a whole as to what the BTR industry is and what it can offer”, as well as the fact that a “lot of schemes are not set up or designed to efficiently measure energy consumption” according to Dougie Orton-Wade, Head of Operations for Native Residential, and in turn deliver ESG properties effectively, which people are willing to pay a premium for.
“Young people want to live in safe, secure communities that look after their lifestyle” Michael Howard, Managing Director at urbanbubble.‘‘
After a short networking break, Megi Cara, Solutions Consultant at Yardi, delivered a presentation that analysed the importance of solutions while scaling, commenting that building more properties to meet the current demand of the UK rental market is not as ‘clear cut’ as it seems, and the importance of scale when developing residential homes in the market. When discussing the impact of ESG on the market, Megi made a point of emphasising that “it’s not always just about the environmental. We need to be sustainable, but we also really need to think about the social and governance as well” when considering the future of the industry, and that scaling the community aspect of renting is the most important right now.
“Even though we can use technology [to assist our tenants] we shouldn’t forget that human touch point as well” Megi Cara, Solutions Consultant at Yardi.‘‘
Following Megi’s presentation, she joined a panel of industry leading representatives to establish what is next for the UK rental market, where the topics discussed included the importance of personal space and outdoor space available to those living in buildings in the city centre, the importance of putting effort into generating social connections within developments, how tenants are now looking for managed properties with tech-enabled living, and also the fact that co-living is still not well understood in the industry – with local authorities having to have extensive discussions with developers on the benefits to this residential offering and how it can provide a unique living experience for the modern tenant of today that aligns with what they are searching for in a home.
“The responsibility for ourselves in this room is to make sure that we provide the quality of the product for people to feel comfortable in right now” David Mawson, Chief Executive at Placefirst.‘‘
While many developers in the industry are struggling to provide properties that are designed to efficiently measure energy consumption and spaces that not only deliver privacy but also community, at Beech Holdings we have spent over two decades dedicating our in-house development process to designing properties that are not only some of the most sustainable on the market, but are born from a tenant-centric approach; that take on the feedback of our over 1,000 tenants each year and create spaces that reflect what they are searching for in the rental market of today.
That’s where City Co-Living comes in. Our brand new branded residential offering that has completely revolutionised the UK rental market, and brings renting into the 21st century – with private luxury residences that feature all of the facilities any apartment should offer, and the added bonus of a building full of amenity spaces and facilities for our residents to use as an extension of their own home. Including private dining rooms for entertaining guests, bookable meeting pods in the co-workspaces perfect for study groups or conference calls, rooftop terraces overlooking MediaCityUK, and even media rooms – fit to show movies, play video games, or even host karaoke tournaments.
To learn more about our brand-new offering and understand further the gaps in the UK rental market that we have been nailing for over a decade, then get in touch with our expert team of property consultants or contact them directly on +44 (0) 161 791 4600 today.