Since 2004, Select Property have been bridging the gap between the goals of investors and the demands of renters. In a post-pandemic world, renters are expecting more from their homes than ever before. Here are 6 renter priorities that landlords simply can’t afford to ignore when considering their next buy-to-let property investment.
1. Access to high-speed Wi-Fi
As the flexible home-working trend is here to stay post pandemic, access to high-speed Wi-Fi in communal areas has never been more important. Remote-working technology has made it easier than ever to work from home at no detriment to business productivity, with a 2,900% increase of daily Zoom participants in 2020.
Aside from work, the biggest enabler for staying at home in recent years is technology, allowing us to satisfy our food, leisure and entertainment needs at the click of a button. As ‘Gen-Z’ – the generation known as digital natives – enter the rental space, the demand for strong Wi-Fi is only increasing.
2. Prime city-centre locations
Despite the rise in remote working, JLL recently reported a post-pandemic renaissance for city centre living, driving rental values up by up to 20% annually in cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. Of the 50 top UK employers questioned by the BBC, some 43 said they would embrace a mix of home and office working, maintaining the need to stay within commutable distance from the workplace.
The growth isn’t expected to slow down any time soon for cities such as Manchester and Birmingham – both leading the UK forecasts for house price and rental growth over the next five years. Read our blog summarising where to invest in 2023.
3. Outdoor space
Another trend accelerated by the pandemic but here to stay, many city-centre renters are seeking access to outdoor space within their homes. Data from over 700,000 users of the rental app, Movebubble, revealed that interest in terraces increased by 204% post pandemic, highlighting the value of fresh air and a change of scenery. New developments are adapting to this demand where possible, providing communal garden terraces and green areas for residents to enjoy. Some city-centre skyscrapers also feature ventilation windows, giving residents access to fresh air in their apartments.
4. Leisure amenities
Shared health and leisure amenities have also become a key priority for renters. A gym alone can add great value to your buy-to-rent property and is a non-negotiable factor for many city-centre renters. Most purpose-built luxury apartments are now built with a resident only state-of-the-art gym.
Elevating your leisure offering to the next level, some prime city centre developments offer fitness studios with regular classes, and even a swimming pool.
Consistent with the rise of social media, young professionals (millennials and Gen-Z) are more concerned with aesthetics than previous generations. In a world where people share photos of every experience, from what they’re having for dinner to what they’re wearing, style and aesthetic are key factors for renters. By investing in purpose-built luxury apartments with a reputable developer, investors can usually guarantee state-of-the-art architecture and modern interiors with high-quality furniture packs. This is also a great way to gain free marketing.
6. Pet-friendly homes
Despite almost half of UK households keeping a pet, a survey by SpareRoom found that 78% of renters had experienced difficulty finding a pet-friendly home. As city-centre dogs become more popular in the UK, pet-friendly homes are a key differentiator from competitors in the rental market. Whilst investors were previously put off allowing pets due to fears of property damage, tenants with pets must sign a policy, agreeing they are responsible for any damage or inconvenience.
At Select Property, our residential brands The Prestige Collection and Affinity Living are built around the needs of the people that live in them. Marking the culmination of decades of experience, each of our brands directly serve the needs of today’s rental market.
See our latest opportunities in the UK’s prime investment cities.