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Suburban BTR Trading Has Begun. Come To Salford For Proof

Walkden town centre

Walkden is just about the most suburban place you can imagine. This is not the nonstop novelty party of city centre living. Here it's all normcore aspirations and familiar brands.

Yet this is the new focus for the build-to-rent sector, which has until now been pioneered by and thrived in the Manchester/Salford urban hub.

Investors are now homing in on the opportunities for Greater Manchester suburban build to rent. The latest deal sees PRS REIT buy a 123-home development in Walkden for £19M in a deal with BlackRock Real Assets. The REIT, managed by Sigma, is in the process of building a 5,200-unit suburban portfolio, Business Desk reported.

The Walkden scheme was developed in 2019 by suburban private rented sector specialist Sigma Capital and has an annual rent roll of £1.2M.

Sigma has set itself an overall target of 20,000 units. In October 2020 Swedish investment manager EQT raised €1B (£910M) of equity for its second value-add investment fund. It and Sigma have a joint venture in the UK to invest £1B in the BTR sector, aiming to build 3,000 homes in the outer boroughs of London.