Developers are reaching for the skies as they build purpose-built apartment blocks to meet the demands of tenants. The most impressive to date is the newly-built apartment block by Canadian company, UNCLE, which has 279 chic one and two-bedroom apartments in the 45-storey tower – officially the UK’s tallest apartment block for rentals. The aim is to provide a great service and high-quality apartments to rent.
UNCLE manages four properties that it owns in the UK, with each having its own management team who live in. The newest is this high-rise building in the Elephant & Castle district of London. The star attraction is the communal Sky Lounge on the 45th floor, where tenants can enjoy an amazing, bird’s eye view of London. This entire floor has been turned over for all residents to use, with its own bar, kitchen, dining room, lounge and workspace. It’s so cool that one couple has booked it for their engagement party. This communal area sums up the entire designer feel to the block with its minimalist steel reception area. There’s even a large gym for residents to use. The block is finding favour with professionals aged 25 to 35 who are prepared to pay for ‘no hassle’ renting. Prices here start at £1,800 a month, which isn’t cheap but it also isn’t a bad price, particularly for professional couples, when you compare it to the average rental price in London for a one-bed of around £950.
Other cities are also getting ready to meet the needs of Generation Rent professionals. Get Living is planning to invest up to £180 million for 756 build-to-rent properties in Leeds city centre. The developers are pitching these flats at the 6,000 civil servants moving to the city, as well as its booming millennial market. The Get Living development plans include eight tower blocks. The tallest will be 23 storeys of one and two bedroom apartments.
Plans are also in hand for a 17-storey residential building aimed at young professionals in Derby. If permission is given, a car park will give way to the city’s tallest apartment block. The complex would also include 277 apartments which are available for rent. Again, the aim is to target young professionals seeking quality apartments to rent.
These purpose-built blocks which are fit for the purpose of renting show that the build-to-let sector is changing the face of rental properties throughout the UK. It also shows that developers and investors see renting as a long-term trend for young professionals who do not want the rigidity of being tied to a mortgage. They also seem happy to pay more for decent housing with perks, which suggests they would not go down the route of buying a property with a mortgage even if they could afford to.
It also shows that more professionals – individuals and companies – are investing in buy-to-lets and build-to-lets. This increasing professionalism coupled with quality housing can only enhance the reputation of this sector.
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