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Graham Awards


Revealed - where Build To Rent is threatening Buy To Let

The Build to Rent market remains small in volume but it is making some inroads, leading to BTR rent rises predominantly in northern cities.

Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester have seen the largest year on year BTR rental increase according to Ascend Properties, a specialist in the sector.

Ascend has analysed rental market data on the sector to see where has seen the biggest increase in rental market prices, as well as where the Build to Rent sector is commanding the highest rental premiums when compared to the regular market.


The research shows that 10 major cities across England have seen BTR rental prices climb between 2019 and 2020, although some have shown stronger growth than others.

Newcastle leads the way with the current average rent in the sector at £858, a 17 per cent increase on the previous year. 

Leeds has also enjoyed a strong rate of growth, up six per cent with the current average BTR rent sitting at £892. 

At three per cent, growth in Birmingham and Manchester has been lower but still places the two cities third in the rankings.

Smaller growth still has been seen in Liverpool, Sheffield, Sunderland, Plymouth, Leicester and Southampton.

Despite a slump in London’s rental market the capital still boasts the largest rental premiums in the rental sector.

At £1,785 per month on average, BTR properties in the capital command £146 more on average when compared to the typical rental price of £1,639.

Both Oxford and Cambridge are the only other cities where the BTR rental premium tops £100 at £126 and £104 higher than the average monthly rental income respectively.

Ascend lettings agency managing director Ged McPartlin says: “Despite a tough year, the rental market has stood pretty firm and it’s great to see the BTR sector helping to drive top line growth across a number of major cities, while also continuing to command a premium when compared to the regular market.

“This has been, in part, down to the wider lifestyle offering the sector provides. Homes designed for long term renting with the addition of social amenities and the greater availability of indoor and outdoor space is certainly something that is resonating with residence since lockdown restrictions were imposed.”


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