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The Gods Love BTR: Atlas And Europa Buy 44-Storey Manchester Tower

Renaker's 44-storey 100 Greengate in Salford

Atlas was condemned by the gods to hold up the heavens for ever. Europa was a young princess who fell into an ill-advised relationship with a god who was pretending to be a bull.

You could have an amusing morning drawing out the Greek mythology buried in the latest big Manchester residential deal, but one thing we can say for sure: the gods seem to be lining up behind Manchester BTR.

Europa Capital and its partner, Chicago-based multifamily giant Atlas Residential, have agreed to forward-purchase Renaker Build's 44-storey residential tower at 100 Greengate, Salford.

Europa Capital has made the acquisition on behalf of its pan-European value-add fund, Europa Fund V.

The 349-unit build-to-rent development is due for completion early this year.

The scheme sits within walking distance of Manchester’s central retail district, which includes Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, and is in close proximity to Manchester Victoria station.

Europa Capital was an early mover into the UK BTR market, and has been investing in the sector sicne 2012.

The completed development will be managed by Atlas Residential, a major US multifamily operator, adding to their UK residential platform of 851 units to date.

“This acquisition not only builds on our existing track record in UK PRS but presents a compelling opportunity to invest in one of the fastest growing cities in the UK with a thriving economy and an expanding population," Europa Capital partner Hugo Black said.

“This substantial transaction continues to show how attractive the Manchester residential market is for institutional investors," Lambert Smith Hampton Head of Build to Rent Ian Scott said.

“The size of this deal reflects the strength of demand in Manchester, thanks to aggressive population growth, urbanisation, strong wage growth, increasing graduate retention and a raft of corporate occupiers outlining their plans to move to the city and create new jobs," he added. "The suggestion that Manchester is over-supplied is ill-founded — the city is booming and it’s driving significant investor interest.”

Going up....

The BTR sector is still in its infancy in the UK. There are more private-rented-sector apartments in Dallas than in the whole of the UK.

Research published by the British Property Federation shows that the total number of build-to-rent homes under construction across the UK has increased rapidly in the last year, however the total is still a tiny 139,508.

The data, compiled by Savills, show the number of build-to-rent homes complete, under construction and in planning across the UK, which has increased 22% over the last year. The number of homes completed and in planning have also increased by 29% and 10%, respectively. Developments in the regions continue to be given the green light at a faster pace than in London.

Included in the total figures for "in planning", the research has tracked the capacity of strategic sites across the country identified for build-to-rent. A total of 22,642 homes have been earmarked by local authorities and developers for delivery on these sites.