Fresh Start Living enters student market

The Salford-based property developer has acquired Montgomery House in Whalley Range in Manchester with plans to convert the art-deco building into student accommodation.

The building is located on Demense Road, overlooking Alexandra Park, and was previously owned by Manchester Metropolitan University and the YMCA.

The four-storey building will comprise 240 student flats, with each unit measuring 129 sq ft. A new communal living space including kitchen, dining and living space will be created for each unit, which will house approximately 200 students. Secure parking and cycle housing will also be available.

Fresh Start Living said 190 units have already been reserved by investor landlords. The apartments are available from £24,000, with anticipated rents of £85/week.

The company expects to start on site on the £7.8m scheme in June this year, which will be delivered over the next year.

Stuart Cook, acquisitions manager at Fresh Start Living, said: "This is Fresh Start's first foray into student accommodation, which is an asset class that rarely becomes available to individual investors.

"Student rentals have remained robust with a recorded yearly growth of 5% over the past six years.

"The University of Manchester is the UK's most popular university and with the booming market, high rental yields and a long-standing management company in place, Montgomery House represents a great hands-off, hassle free investment opportunity that easily out performs and savings bank."

The Salford-based company specialises in refurbishing empty properties and has completed the refurbishment of two former local authority tower blocks, Madison Court in Salford and Bispham House in Liverpool, and is currently developing Trafford Press on Chester Road and Empress Mill on Empress Road, both in Old Trafford, Manchester.

Fresh Start Living was established in February 2009 and has refurbished 200 residential properties across the North West to the private rental market, mainly situated in or close to prime city centre locations in cities such as Liverpool and Manchester.

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