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No To Pokey, Investor-Led Apartments In Post-Pandemic Manchester, Developer Says

Capital & Centric's Crusader Mill: buy-to-let investors not welcome?

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Manchester’s residential developers have to ween themselves off “pokey, identikit” apartments and an addiction to buy-to-let investors.

That is the message from a rocket launched into the heart of the Manchester city centre residential scene by Capital & Centric founder Adam Higgins.

Capital & Centric said research showed that just 1.8% of city centre apartments are aimed exclusively at owner-occupiers. 

Its figures showed that 47% appeared to be aimed primarily at investors, with marketing focusing on promoting predicted yields on investment. A further 29%, amounting to 65 properties, were targeted solely at investors, requiring hefty deposits and in many cases specifying “buy-to-let” or “investors” only.

The research looked at all Manchester city centre new-build homes on the market, listed on Rightmove in May 2020 for £250K and under. 

Two of those schemes aimed only at owner-occupiers were Capital & Centric’s Crusader and the 75-unit Phoenix on Chapeltown Street, which is now nearing completion. Both are in the growing Piccadilly East neighbourhood. 

“Most of us have had a lot more time at home over the last few months, and buyers just won’t put up with pokey, identikit apartments anymore. They want bigger rooms and outdoor space in a place that feels like home,” Higgins said.

“That desire to be part of a community has never been stronger as we’ve all come together in the face of coronavirus. This research shows that many other would-be buyers are still missing out to investors who are often buying up flats they’ll never visit, seeing them as investments rather than homes and either being an absent landlord or leaving them pristine and empty until the time comes to sell. Locals living in these flats have bugger all chance of getting to know their neighbours, if they have any at all.”