Build-to-Rent is booming. According to Home Views 2020 Build to Rent Report, there has been a 20% rise in the number of UK sites (completed, under construction and in planning) in the 12 months from 2019 Q3. This brings the total number of UK sites to 142,999 - up from 30,000 in the last five years. With 74,336 in planning as of Q2 2019, it’s clear that the UK residential landscape is set for even more dramatic change.

One of the more interesting changes across the UK is the rise in Build-to-Rent sites outside London. According to Savills, a huge 48% of sites are now in the regions and according to the HomeViews report, regional developments scored higher across all elements compared to developments in London, illustrating that the regions are outperforming their capital counterparts in terms of customer satisfaction. But which cities are seeing the most growth?

Currently, Manchester is leading the charge thanks to the 6,000 or so properties completed or under construction, helping it achieve 11th place in JLL’s recent list of Build-to-Rent hotspots in Europe. With 80 of the FTSE Top 100 companies having a presence here, it’s no wonder that residents are in the market for high quality accommodation. MODA Living’s flagship project Angel Gardens opened in October, where residents have access to a rooftop sports court, 24-hour private gym and communal lounge. In addition, U+I have unveiled the masterplan for the mammoth £1.4 bn Mayfield scheme in Manchester, a 30 acre site near Piccadilly Station.

One of the key benefits offered by Build-to-Rent is the freedom gifted by efficiency. With fees and utilities incorporated into the price, residents no longer have to spend time on managing the bills and can focus on living their best lives. Many operators are also rolling out virtual concierge systems, giving residents even more freedom to pursue their lives without the shackles of everyday chores.

Northern cities such as Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle are also experiencing huge growth in the residential market, where there are 15 developments in progress across the three cities. According to analysis by Consorto, Birmingham and Liverpool are the two top choices for foreign investors in UK regional cities in 2020. Leicester, Sheffield and Glasgow are among the top five UK cities in which investors are looking for opportunities. Voted Best City for Students at the Student Choice Awards, Liverpool is a young city full of opportunities - no wonder that it’s going from strength to strength. One of its most iconic BTR properties is the stylish Cargo Building in the trendy Baltic Triangle area of the city. With no application fees, free broadband, a residents lounge, private gym, onsite management, underground parking and bike storage, 24-hour security and pet friendly apartments, there’s more than enough on offer for residents looking to enjoy the best the city has to offer.

As the cultural and business hub of the North East, Newcastle boasts some high quality living accommodation for the most discerning tastes. The Forge has been open since 2017, offering a whole range of amenities in a central, stylish residence. 75 miles away (and 15th on JLL’s list) Leeds has been a magnet for quality living since Harvey Nichols opened their first non-London store there in 1996. There are a number of developments in the pipeline that will join Waterside Apartments in offering top quality, amenity-laden luxury living.

Build-to-Rent is much more than a home - it offers a sense of community, particularly for those social groups at risk of isolation. Most developments have gardens, gyms and communal areas for residents to relax and socialise in. Young parents suddenly have a support network on their doorstep with baby showings offered at on-site cinemas and the older generation can spend their afternoons with friends taking advantage of discounted off-peak periods at the gym, exercise classes or catching a film together at a dedicated ‘silver screening.’

Scotland’s pipeline of BTR homes now stands in excess of 7,200 properties, the bulk of which is centred in Glasgow. Tay Letting’s Candleriggs Court development opened to residents in May 2019 and has successfully let all 36 apartments within six weeks. Affordable accommodation in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City, the mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments offers a sanctuary in the centre of the city.

Birmingham also made it onto the JLL’s European Multifamily Investment Market Update list. The 16th-placed city has seen €330m of investment in 2018. Touchstone’s The Forum is an 11-storey development in the centre of the city. Birmingham’s first and largest purpose-built development for the private sector hosts 334 apartments alongside retail and commercial space, making it a very attractive option for residents looking for central, luxury homes.

Bristol is also proving an attractive option for developers. With more than 1300 listed buildings and easy access to the South West, it’s no wonder developers such as Grainger have opened developments in the centre. Finzel’s Reach opened in Spring 2019, offering a private gym, resident’s lounge and rooftop space within ten minutes of Bristol Temple Meads train station.

Despite the diversity in geography, one of the key components that links these cities is their need for connectivity. Residents of these luxury developments have high expectations - not just of the location, the design and the range of amenities, but also the speed and reliability of their internet. Which is why Glide is the best option - wherever the property.

The success and sustainability of services for diverse groups can only be enhanced by fast, reliable, pervasive and high-speed Wi–Fi. Entertainment services like Ultra High Definition (UHD) streaming and Virtual Reality online gaming, and Smart Home Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming mainstream and previously local services like playing music have become cloud services like Spotify, all resulting in the need for higher bandwidth. Increasingly, operators are using this technology to support happier, healthier and safer communities and to differentiate buildings from the competition.

To reduce the hassle of day-to-day management of Wi-Fi, building operators need an appropriate managed service offering. It makes sense for operators to deal with one provider to deploy and manage Wi-Fi. Everything from cabling to refreshing the technology is all taken care of, freeing up more time to focus on enriching the resident experience and building a sustainable community.

Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ (SFI™)

Glide Residential’s SFI™ is a full fibre, landlord broadband solution that provides a fast and simple way to cable a building, specifically designed for the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector. With SFI™, buildings are future-proofed for the next 25 years, as there are no restrictions on what can be delivered via fibre. SFI™ also enables the provision of many smart technology services such as Wi-Fi controlled lighting and heating, door entry, CCTV, digital signage, smart metering, and SkyQ. SFI™ helps add rental value, whilst reducing operational costs, and is designed with developers, landlords, and their residents in mind.

Managed Internet Service

With Glide Residential, you can also benefit from a fully managed internet service for private rented residents and fully managed internet solutions. Everything is managed from the cabling, to launch, to ongoing 24/7/365 support. Complete managed broadband services from a single provider. The network is monitored around the clock to ensure everything is running smoothly, and each customer has their own dedicated service manager as one single point of contact to provide everything you need.

Get in touch with a member of our team to find out how we can enhance your Build-to-Rent (BTR) development. Call us on 03333 800 800 or drop us an email at glideresidential@glide.co.uk, or find out more details on our website https://glidegroup.co.uk/connectivity-and-smart-solutions/sfi

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