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These are the cities driving rental growth in the Build to Rent sector

Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester have seen the largest year on year rental increase across the Build to Rent sector, according to the latest research from Build to Rent specialists, Ascend Properties.

Ascend Properties 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 Build to Rent rental prices climb between 2019 and 2020, although some have shown stronger growth than others. 

Largest BtR rental increases

Newcastle leads the way with the current average rent in the sector at £858, a 17% increase on the previous year. Leeds has also enjoyed a strong rate of growth, up 6% with the current average BtR rent sitting at £892. At 3%, growth in Birmingham and Manchester has been lower but still places the two cities third in the rankings where year on year change is concerned. 

Liverpool (2%), Sheffield (2%), Sunderland (1%) and Plymouth (1%) have also seen positive growth, while Leicester  (0.2%) and Southampton (0.1%) have remained largely static. 

Biggest BtR rental premiums

However, London still sits top where the largest rental premiums in the Build to Rent sector are concerned. At £1,785 per month on average, Build to Rent properties in the capital command £146 more on average when compared to the average 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.

Bristol (£94), Manchester (£77) and Leeds (£74) are also home to some of the largest monthly rental premiums when comparing Build to Rent incomes with the regular market. 

Managing Director of Ascend Properties, Ged McPartlin, commented: 

Despite a tough year, the rental market has stood pretty firm and it’s great to see the Build to Rent 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.  With a greater sense of normality now returning, we should see this positive market growth continue to grow as more of us return to working, living and renting in cities across the country.”
Table shows the biggest year on year increases in the average Build to Rent monthly rental income
Location Region Average BTR Rent (2020) Change (%)
Newcastle NORTH EAST £858 17%
Birmingham WEST MIDLANDS £810 3%
Manchester NORTH WEST £923 3%
Liverpool NORTH WEST £594 2%
Sunderland NORTH EAST £571 1%
Plymouth SOUTH WEST £661 1%
Leicester EAST MIDLANDS £682 0.2%
Southampton SOUTH EAST £868 0.1%



Table shows the biggest Build to Rent rental premiums versus the average rental market
Location Region Average BTR Rent (2020) Wider average rent (2020) BTR Rental Premium
London LONDON £1,785 £1,639 £146
Oxford SOUTH EAST £1,611 £1,485 £126
Cambridge EAST OF ENGLAND £1,322 £1,218 £104
Bristol SOUTH WEST £1,196 £1,102 £94
Manchester NORTH WEST £923 £846 £77
Leeds YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER £892 £818 £74
Bournemouth SOUTH WEST £922 £850 £72
Newcastle NORTH EAST £858 £786 £72
Portsmouth SOUTH EAST £909 £838 £71
Southampton SOUTH EAST £868 £800 £68

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