Sigma PRS homes launched to market

Regeneration specialist Sigma Capital and its joint venture partner Gatehouse Bank have launched their first private rented sector houses in Salford and Norris Green, part of a 927-home development, and are eyeing-up further sites in the region.

There are 66 family homes available to let in Salford, within Countryside Properties' Lower Broughton scheme, and 152 in the Norris Green estate. There are 927 properties being developed across 14 sites in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

The Sigma PRS portfolio is being built on land procured and developed by Sigma through its existing local authority partnerships with Liverpool City Council and Salford City Council, and its housebuilding partner, Countryside Properties. Construction is currently underway on a total of six of the 14 sites, with the development of the remaining sites scheduled to begin by early June 2015.

The houses are being marketed under the Difrent brand, which was announced on Friday as part of the official launch of the PRS element of Lower Broughton in Salford. Direct Lettings is the agent for the homes.

According to a Sigma spokesman, in addition to the 14 PRS sites in the first phase with Gatehouse, Sigma is now looking at further sites for phase two.

Under the terms of the joint venture, Sigma earns an initial upfront fee on commencement of construction and thereafter a development management fee, paid quarterly over the duration of the delivery period. On completion, Sigma will earn a quarterly asset management fee, with all fees based on the development cost. Sigma will also retain a share of the net disposal profits on the assets, subject to a minimum return to investors.

Launching the Lower Broughton homes, Cllr Derek Antrobus of Salford Council said: "The council recognises that areas around Salford are fantastic locations. Our job is to make sure our city gets developed to provide homes and vitality. This scheme brings something new; the private rented sector is a new section of the market, and brings forward the innovation and entrepreneurship that we need."

Speaking to Place North West, Paul Staley, director of Direct Lettings, said that one of the advantages of PRS was that an area could be regenerated quicker. "Tenants don't have to worry about securing a mortgage so change can happen faster. It also enables a mixed tenure in an area; we're seeing young professional couples, families, groups of students and older divorcees taking leases on these properties."

According to Staley, Direct Lettings, part of Shepherd Direct Group, is also in conversations with funders to develop sites in the North West, Sheffield and Leeds.

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Disappointing to see the same unattractive little houses being delivered here. One would have hoped that as a joint venture the council could have leveraged their stake in the project to improve the quality of the homes.

By Disappointed

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

By scouseboi

As a yuppie never likely to be able to afford a deposit/mortgage it’s reassuring to know houses like this are an option for me when I get tired of flats…

By Red

Have you even seen these "unattractive little houses" probably not. It’s the best value for money I found in a location so close to the city. I bought a 4 bedrooms detached house with garage, gardens, and ensuite bathroom for less than the price of a pokey second hand flat with no parking, in the city. But I suppose that you think that these properties should be palatial mansions, or else they’re not worth building…. I wonder what you’ve achieved in life… gb’s of online moaning probably…..

By Mr Thompson

Are you talking about the size of these properties, or how attractive they are? Think you may be confusing yourself…. Sounds like competitor ill feeling ;)

By Go Go Salford

Thompson and Go Go. Nope, you both seem to be suffering from a poverty of aspiration and a belief that affordable housing means undersized, poorly detailed and cheap looking. I’m actually thinking of the long term sustainability of Lower Broughton wherein if we fail to invest now in good design there is a risk the area will fall out of favour and descend back into decline in future. Compare the above image with these examples and . Both of these affordable housing schemes feature spacious rooms, large windows, recessed windows, depth, variety, proportion, interesting street scenes and quality detailing. I’m not saying the Sigma / Countryside scheme is bad, just that it could be a lot better.

By Disappointed

Considering how much it has stalled over the years and how much of a wasteland parts of it are now, I don’t think New Islington is exactly a good benchmark for successful regeneration Disappointed, no matter how much you like the varied cladding on those houses…

By HouseHunter

These are standalone affordable housing schemes Househunter and are being compared on design quality. We shouldn’t just excuse developer complacency but encourage them to strive for the best.

By Disappointed

Disappointed – hear hear to that. While I admire the bar you’re setting in terms of design quality, I think the bottom line is, homes just have to built and fast. There is a massive chunk of the market out there who want a garden and a garage but can no way afford a mortgage, and that need has to be met sooner rather than later.

By HouseHunter

I hear you HouseHunter but I don’t think adding a couple of courses of brick beneath the parapet, using window reveals, using larger amounts of glazing, adding some form of articulation between units and across the roof line, employing a greater variety of brick bonds, adding window sills and increasing the amount of storage and room dimensions would add much to the construction programme or build costs. We’re talking details but important details that have been achieved on other affordable schemes so why not in Lower Broughton? With so much stigma still attached to these areas, it is critical that we create housing that is functional and has enduring appeal across a wide cross section of society.

By Disappointed