build-to-rent Birmingham map of west Midlands

Thriving build-to-rent sector picking up pace in Midlands

As investment in the UK build-to-rent market surges by 50%, the Midlands is emerging as a frontrunner location for landlords looking at the sector.

The private rented sector continues to grow, with tenant demand outpacing the level of rental properties available in many areas. One sector that aims to plug some of the gap left by traditional buy-to-let is the purpose-built rental development space, which is gaining momentum.

BTR normally consists of well-located, multiple unit developments designed with additional amenities and as a more long-term option for tenants. Sometimes with higher rents, they can be a more secure investment option as tenants often want to stay longer.

The Midlands is making a name for itself as one of the top destinations for London-leavers, and this is one factor fuelling the rising demand for good-quality rental homes. Further to this, there are huge levels of investment and regeneration taking place there, some of it centred around HS2.

BTW appeals to wider range of tenants

One recent development that showcases the great demand for these properties is Wise Living‘s latest project in Wolverhampton, through a partnership with Keon Homes. It is located at the former Springfield Brewery, and offers 64 homes, all reserved off-plan.

The development is now 100% reserved “in record time”, and demonstrates the huge appetite for such properties in the Midlands among investors and tenants.

Mark Gratton, land and partnerships director at Wise Living, says the company has noted a huge increase in interest in the market, and the West Midlands is proving “particularly strong”. Proximity to transport links and amenities are among the top priorities for tenants, he says.

“It’s interesting that most of our tenants are new renters that have moved from living with parents, friends, or relatives and are aged 35 or under,” adds Gratton.

“This proves the real value to those who aren’t quite ready to get onto the property ladder themselves but still want a high standard of living, with 31% also wanting the space for their children to enjoy. It demonstrates that BTR is a solution to supporting younger people into properties they can call home.”

Midlands at MIPIM

This year’s MIPIM, the global property conference hosted annually in the south of France, highlighted some major Midlands projects that would bring jobs, homes, and future investment to the region.

For property investors looking at key areas in the UK, there are some significant opportunities coming up in the vicinity, which will only increase the investability of the Midlands.

One such project is the UK Central Hub growth and infrastructure plan in Solihull. It is a 20-year vision expected to add £4bn to the West Midlands economy, and bring more than 77,000 jobs. It will include new homes, commercial space and infrastructure joining up places such as the NEC and the new HS2 interchange.

Innovation Birmingham, a city science campus that has created hundreds of jobs and raised millions of pounds, also showcased at the MIPIM conference. It highlighted Birmingham’s thriving tech scene, and the Enterprise Wharf development currently being constructed there.

Speaking at the conference, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “We are taking a bold approach to winning investment, anchored by our nationally acclaimed devolved housing and regeneration programme and our dedicated capital investment strategy – the first of its kind in the UK.

“We have a clear and compelling proposition to put to investors on the world stage, underscored by a genuine demand for affordable local housing alongside inclusive, sustainable places helping our communities to thrive.

“With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and HS2 on the horizon and the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda centre stage, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make this a game-changing moment for the West Midlands.”

BuyAssociation has a range of property investment opportunities available in the Midlands, as well as across the whole of the UK. Get in touch to find out more. 

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