Property firm’s record occupancy levels highlight tight city centre supply


Manchester-based build-to-rent community centric operator, Affinity Living, saw a record year for occupancy across its four central Manchester residences in 2023, which it said highlights the tight supply of accommodation in the city centre.

The residences, Riverside, Riverview, Exchange Point and Laurence Place, recorded an average occupancy rate of 97% last year – with almost all apartments taken up by residents – as demand for premium rental accommodation remained strong throughout the year.

The brand, which forms part of Select Property, expects occupancy at its Riverside complex to be buoyed further this year with the opening of a new restaurant within the residence. Ottoman Bar & Grill will open imminently after a £500,000 fit-out.

Affinity Living is also targeting high occupancy at its Lancaster Wharf residence under construction in Birmingham – its fifth building and first scheme outside Manchester. The scheme, which will open in autumn 2025, is backed by a £44m development finance loan from Close Brothers and recently completed construction of its core.

Communal spaces at Affinity Living properties include lounge areas, coworking space, resident gyms, cinema snugs, and leafy terraces. There are also free events and activities taking place for residents on a weekly basis, with the company also having one of Manchester’s most welcoming pet policies.

Select Property CEO, Adam Price, said: “Demand for premium city centre living remains remarkably strong in Manchester as the city’s culture, warm employment market economy and bustling food and drink scene continues to draw in young professional talent from across the UK and overseas.

“A record occupancy rate reflects the strong proposition we’ve created at Affinity Living – focused on building and nurturing resident communities through exclusive events, communal lounges and inspiring co-working spaces.

“Our winning people-centric formula is popular with residents and investors alike, with our upcoming Lancaster Wharf residence already sold out ahead of schedule.”

He added: “High occupancy in Manchester also speaks of the tight supply of accommodation in the city centre.

“Creating a diverse range of accommodation to serve the needs of local communities and the city’s growing economy must be a priority for both public and private sector organisations.

“Developers will need to continue working in tandem with local authorities to deliver the right mix of housing supply at pace. And we’re excited to reveal new development plans for Manchester later this year.”

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