Editor: Manchester was recently named by Time Out as the third best city in the world, putting itself on the map alongside San Francisco and Amsterdam.

Mayfield Manchester

I moved to Manchester in 2012 to take a new job and it didn’t take me long to realise that the city had the ingredients to be a fantastic place to live – creativity, thriving nightlife, community spirit, world-class sport and culture and amazing countryside.

In 2012, the BTR sector was only just emerging and the supply of good-quality private rental accommodation was extremely limited. Roll on a decade and Manchester is thriving.

The city is now an established hub of economic activity, home to 80 of the FTSE 100 companies and some of the UK’s fastest-growing tech companies. This is fuelled by Manchester’s excellent universities, with more than 60% of students continuing to live and work in the city after graduation. These highly skilled, innovative workers are now demanding well-designed and affordably priced homes.

Manchester was an early adopter of the nascent BTR sector. The delivery of high-quality, purpose-built rental accommodation enables the city to support economic growth in established and emerging business sectors while delivering its regeneration goals.

With the emergence of the Mayfield project (pictured), £1.5bn ID district and HS2, it’s clear more businesses will base themselves in the city, underwriting the importance of Manchester’s BTR sector and increasing demand for well-designed, purpose-built rental homes.

At Packaged Living, we’ve been active in the city, acquiring a site near Piccadilly Station, securing a planning consent and starting on site at The Castings, a 25-storey, 352-home scheme. Our funding partner for this project is a global real estate company based in Singapore, highlighting the global interest in Manchester’s BTR market and investors’ confidence in demand for rental housing.

Manchester now has the critical mass of economic activity, knowledge and infrastructure to sustain further waves of BTR development. There are more than 72,000 people living in the city centre and with this figure expected to rise to 100,000 by 2024, BTR will play a key role in meeting housing need.

Peter Rowe, development manager, Packaged Living