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Sigma Unveil First Of 927 New Homes In Lower Broughton

66 new three and four bed houses will be available for private rent

Written by . Published on March 4th 2015.

Sigma Unveil First Of 927 New Homes In Lower Broughton

THE first wave of private rental stock has been released at Lower Broughton following a deal between Sigma Capital and its funder Gatehouse Bank Plc and Countryside Properties.

"There is nothing else comparable right now so the interest has been phenomenal"

66 three and four bed houses will be available for private rent, the initial phase of 927 properties at sites across the North West under the Difrent brand.

It is such an obvious link up that fills such an obvious gap in the market you can almost forgive the name.

The clusters of family sized homes, owned and retained by one investor, with longer leases and high standards of on-site maintenance and management offer good build quality and specification, and security of tenure.

It will be one of the first large scale PRS partnerships in the country and Gwynn Thomas, property investment director at Sigma, said:

"There are a lot of people who slip through the housing net. They cannot get a mortgage for the sort of place they want to live in and they don't meet the affordable housing criteria.

"When they look around there is not a lot of good quality family housing to rent and often maintenance and management are an issue.

"We want to change that."


Img_2916Property kitchen

Eleven properties in the first phase (all already let) will be followed by eleven more each month for the next five months. Sites in Oldham and Rochdale as well as Norris Green will follow soon.

It's a decade since Countryside, in partnership with Salford City Council and Urban Vision, began the transformation of Lower Broughton, and despite the recession putting the brakes on for a while they have delivered 1,200 new houses, an apartment block with communal garden, a parade of shops, a new primary school, a park and a new street scene.

Most of the houses have been for sale with Contour providing affordable rentals and individual buy-to-let landlords offering some private rental stock. The apartments, completed just as the property world crashed, were bought by Places for People and are rented.

But 66 houses, built to the same standard as the sale properties (apart from the bathroom mirror and the depth of the work surface apparently) - bought for the long term and well managed - complete the housing mix available here.

Les Brown, from Countryside Properties has been at Lower Broughton since day one. He said: "The development partnership we signed with Salford ten years ago allows us to develop a mix of tenures and while the biggest element is still for sale large numbers of people want to rent. And they want to rent from one solid landlord that gives them security.

"They are also taking a 'buyers' approach to renting, wanting a high quality product and they often come to look at a two bed and end up renting a three because they can."

Guaranteed sales for the next six months will presumably allow Countryside to push on with its plans for Mocha Parade and more new housing closer to Manchester.

The houses are being let by Direct Lettings, part of the Shepherd Direct Group (no me neither...) and the director is Paul Staley who is obviously very happy to have houses available on the edge of the city from £795 a month. He said:

"There is nothing else comparable right now so the interest has been phenomenal. And they are really lovely properties, some with garages, all with built in wardrobes in the master bedroom, some with en-suite bathrooms and really great kitchens and living spaces with glass doors to the garden.

"They are a real alternative to renting a city flat."

Paul StaleyDirect Lettings director Paul Staley

One of the first in was Darren Holmes who had been renting in the Green Quarter with girlfriend Amy for the last two years.

He said: "We seem to have acquired an awful lot of stuff and decided we needed more space and a garden.

"Our initial thought was to buy and we looked at different options, different locations like Timperley and Altrincham, but decided we wanted to be closer to the city.

"Then you realise that there is actually not that much with a garage and a garden. We went out to look at the houses at Beswick but really they are too far out and then we popped in to Lower Broughton wanting to buy.

"And whilst we like the older properties and quite fancied the idea of a bit of DIY we also love the fact that these are all brand new and sparkly and built to a very good standard.

"We had wanted to buy and take advantage of the Governments Help to Buy scheme but all the available houses had been snapped up by an investor and as time was tight we went for the rental option."

The couple are paying £825 for a three bedroom house with a garage and garden, compared to £795 for the two bed apartment in the Green Quarter.

They have signed up for twelve months after which they can renew but according to the tenancy agreement the rent is likely to rise from between 3-6%.

Darren said: "The idea is to rent here for a couple of years as they continue to develop and grow the area and see how we feel and if we are settled then we would look to buy.

"My girlfriend is from Manchester so knows all the negative history of the area but you can see how it has been transformed over the last ten years and every time we have been it feels great.

"Having said that there were gun shots on the road a few weeks back but that's not the norm any more.

"And it is refurbished areas like Lower Broughton, on the edge of town, that are increasingly going to be the solution for many young people who want the city lifestyle but also want more living space and a garden. It's only been three days but it's pretty good so far."


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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 5th 2015.

Driving along Great Clowes Street, have to admit the place is way BETTER these days and so close to city centre!!! However, some of the building from the start of the redevelopment are already looking a bit grubby......Up at the bottom end of Higher Broughton, by Albert Park, the newish houses looking over the park are interesting and seem a better build (??).. The old mansions being refurbed look amazing...

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 5th 2015.

Good to hear. But "some of the building from the start of the redevelopment are already looking a bit grubby" oh dear that's not a good sign. Hopefully they're maintained properly. Last time I went down there there was newish metal fencing everywhere which doesn't give you a good impression either. It's some transformation though.

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

Have any of you seen the beautiful houses in The Cliff? Why has this place not been gentrified yet? The whole area is amazing if rundown. Come on Salford council,get your act together. It is a ten minute drive from the city centre,has cobbled streets with views over the Irwell,Victorian architecture to die for and Albert park five minutes away.All this area needs is a few decent bars and it could rival Chorlton for young professionals. For all those of us who love architecture,go and have a look, a fantastic area of character,which should be Manchester's next hotspot. This development on Great Clowes street is excellent.We need more like this in the tatty parts of the doughnut ring.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

Is happening slowly, but many homes are those of Ultra Orthodox Jewish families who often have so many kids and maintaining an old place to a very high standard is hard.....Believe me that area is much better than a few years ago, but agree has a way to go yet. The investors need to take a closer look and maybe not be closed to the idea of what is inner city Salford maybe? There has been a fair bit of renovation and rebuilding by the park. The latest on Great Cheetham Street West is long overdue, with eight lovely old houses in a row being converted to flats and the merchant's houses opposite along with some houses and flats, have been under construction and renovation for what must be a record time! Slowly, slowly, but I agree a decent place to live in time.

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

That Mocha parade needs to go. That is foul.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

Is next as when pass has been boarded up for ages and the new houses getting closer & closer...

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

These houses have been sensitively built and guess what they have put a park in the middle so that people can walk their dogs push their children and talk to each other. A park in Manchester! There will be a Michelin star restaurant next. Joking apart though,I think that this development is great. Not too over-priced,the houses are nice,the smaller ones have a Mews look and the larger ones are all different colours and overlook the park. British people like green,when will developers accept this instead of putting up faceless flats everywhere.

AnonymousMarch 7th 2015.

The Cliff left to go to rack and ruin is very sad. There are those amazing mock Tudor houses at the bottom that in Didsbury would be priceless and at the top are houses with stunning turrets and pillars. The ones overlooking the Irwell look like they once had stables.There are also old fashioned street lights. Presumably when the North West was the engine of our economy this was one of the places to live if you were an aspiring industrialist. The Orthodox Jews live further up don't they? correct me if I am wrong. There is the magnificent Greek Orthodox church too on Bury New Road. There are architectural gems all around there. Shame that the Georgian Terrace on Bury New Road is so dilapidated. Further up in Broughton park are some stunning cottages that look like they should be in a rural location. There is a hope that there will be a continuum of houses from the City centre right up to Prestwich now as there are new developments all along Great Clowes street and more on Leicester road. I predict in ten years time that this area will be thriving.

AnonymousMarch 7th 2015.

They are heap looking? Then they are cheap for four bedroom detached houses. For once can someone say something nice. They are better than the ghetto that was there before and they look like Mayfair compared to the horror show they face on the other side of Great Clowes street.

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