Leeds City Centre’s Latest ‘Built To Rent’ Scheme Nears Completion

New Briggate1

Building work is soon to complete on Leeds city centre’s latest ‘build to rent’ apartment scheme, which is in a prime location on New Briggate.

The development consists of 13 one and two bedroom fully furnished apartments and that are being marketed by Morgans.  The apartments, which will be ready to move into during the summer, are spread across five floors above the city’s highly-acclaimed North Bar, next to the famous Leeds Grand Theatre and less than two minutes’ walk from the flagship John Lewis store which is due to open in late October.

The location of this development alone, is almost enough to ensure its popularity.  It’s ideal for anyone who wants to be right in the heart of Leeds, surrounded by great shops, bars and restaurants.  There are very few rental properties available that are so close to the city’s main retail offering-Trinity Leeds, Harvey Nichols and the new Victoria Gate development with its John Lewis, are all just minutes away and the immediate area is bursting with bars and restaurants including Manahatta, The Brotherhood, Belgrave, Brewdog, and the original Leeds indie bar, Mojo.

The quality of the interior specification is very high and includes air-conditioning to each apartment which is a first for Leeds city centre. Kitchens and bathroom fittings have been carefully selected and the furnishings will be of similarly high quality.

Prices will start at £650pcm for a one-bedroom apartment. To register your interest, or for further information, call us on 0113 398 0099.


City Residents Want To See Selfridges Open In The City

selfridgesAs Leeds continues climbing the league tables of the UK’s best shopping destinations, city centre residents have revealed that Selfridges is the retailer they’d most like to see opening its doors next in Leeds.

Morgans, asked more than 100 of the city’s newest residents, who have recently rented apartments through the company, about their shopping habits and favourite retailers.

Of those surveyed, 15% said Selfridges, which has department stores in London, Birmingham and Manchester, is the retailer they would most like to see come to Leeds.  This was closely followed by John Lewis, which is set to open its biggest store outside London when Victoria Gate opens in autumn.  Other popular choices were Forever 21 and Nike.  When quizzed about favourite shops, Harvey Nichols, Marks & Spencer, Zara, Topshop and Topman all fared particularly well.

Leeds has no shortage of great shops, and the opening of Trinity Leeds in 2013 elevated the city into a different league in terms of its retail offering.  When Victoria Gate opens later this year, it will raise the bar again and should help to cement the city’s position as a European retail destination, attracting an even wider audience.

We carried out this research to find out how big an attraction the city’s retail offering is to people when they are deciding where to live.  Of those surveyed 61% said Leeds city centre’s shops were an important factor when they rented an apartment and 38% are prepared to pay a premium to live within a two minute walk of the main retail area of Briggate.  In addition, a staggering 41% of city residents admit to going into a clothes shop every single day.

In recent years residential development in Leeds city centre has trailed a long way behind the city’s retail, leisure and office developments, with very few new apartments being built.  This has created major stock shortages for people wanting to move into the city and our occupancy rates have averaged 99.5% over the last 18 months, but this finally appears to be improving.

This year will see work start on approximately 300 new city centre homes, which will be ready for occupation during 2017 and this will help to ease tenant demand as well as mirroring the confidence that is so visible in many other parts of the city’s property market.

Clamour to invest in residential property

Construction News recently set about trying to put the PRS sector into perspective.

It’s an interesting time for this relatively new investment type and not since the buy to let boom of 2001-2007 have we seen such a clamour to invest in residential property.

The institutional ‘PRS’ model should be distinguished entirely from the long-established private rented sector which tends, on the whole, to provide housing for middle markets, capturing and holding demand from those who fuel the engine room of the economy – average earners in offices, retail, hospitality and the creative industries.

Institutional PRS is predicated on a model which assumes that a package of enhanced amenities such as concierge, gym, residents’ lounge, cinema room and hotel style lobby will drive a 25-30% premium on rental levels and yet there is absolutely no evidence to support this other than that which is available from Europe and the US, where PRS is a long-established and predominant tenure.

Such is the weight of money in a wide range of institutions, from Aviva to AIG, that PRS deals are being brokered at break-neck speed up and down the country with little apparent attention being paid to market depth, absorption rates and credible rental premium. In a market such as London where there are real and significant barriers to entry into the housing market, it follows that high volumes of premium rental, with longer dwell times, will stand the test of time.

In many other cities, particularly in the North, it would be prudent to pay heed to the fact that housing markets are generally not prohibitively priced – on Rightmove last week, for example, there were 250 properties available in Leeds at £125,000 or less.

Many models assume that consumers will significantly increase the proportion of their income they are prepared to spend on their monthly rent and will in turn prioritise their monthly rental commitment over any notion of saving for a deposit. This in turn assumes that the Millennial generation has decided that to rent is better than to buy. An unlikely scenario in a society in which home ownership is a staple.

The housing market is not one but many


A survey by Rightmove this week looked at the best performing locations for first time buyers in the South-East. Among the top ten were Dartford, Watford and Luton, where prices have risen by over 18% in the last year, presumably driven by continued price growth in the increasingly unaffordable central London boroughs.

Leading the way was Croydon, with an 18.6% price rise in the last year and an average first time buyer property price of £297,000. The surge in buy-to-let demand ahead of Stamp Duty Changes appears to have left the Spring market place a little short of stock, which will only make it harder for first-timers to make their first purchase.

So what does nearly £300,000 get you in Croydon? You could buy a 1 bed flat in Green Dragon House- at 440sq ft, this is a £per square foot rate of £681. The apartment is available off plan and has access to a roof garden but has no parking. Alternatively, you could buy a 2 bed end of terrace cottage with a yard and in need of full modernisation but ‘within easy reach of both East and West Croydon’. Not sure if that’s a good thing.

If you’re feeling really competitive, you could join the ‘Open house’ at a 2 bed apartment in Ashley Lane on the market at £300,000 where apparently ‘buyers fees apply’ and ‘you should see the bid pack’. Mmmmmm.

Then again, head to Leeds and, as at 20th May 2016, you could take your pick on Rightmove of 250 different 3 bed properties at £125,000 or less.

City Centre Penthouse Stands Out From The Crowd

Simpsons Fold penthouse May 2016

One of Leeds city centre’s largest penthouses is now for sale, which has just been refurbished to an exceptional standard and offers a stunning open plan living space in a highly sought after development.

The four bedroom, split level duplex apartment is located in Simpsons Fold on Dock Street and covers 2,200 square feet of living space, as well as benefitting from north and south facing terraces with superb views. It also has three bathrooms, utility room, feature staircase and two parking spaces.

The property, which is on the market for £699,000, is newly refurbished with a dark oak and quartz stone kitchen with hidden integrated appliances and marble flooring. The rest of the apartment offers a mix of dark hard wood and solid bamboo flooring throughout as well as floor to ceiling windows.

There are very few apartments in the North of England that are finished to this specification, with such a vast floor-space, and at this price, it offers great value for money. There is definitely nothing else available in the city at the moment of this size or standard.

The penthouse’s reconfiguration and refurbishment meets the highest specification, and boasts the latest fixtures, fittings and design features on the fifth and sixth floors of Simpsons Fold, which is an extremely popular development.

The scheme consists of 47 apartments in a Grade II listed warehouse conversion. It’s in a quiet part of Leeds, that’s largely residential and close to the River Aire, Brewery Wharf and The Tetley, but it’s still within a five minute walk of Briggate, which makes it a very popular place to live.

Leeds Church Buildings Get New Lease Of Life

St Peters Hall Leeds

The first of just three apartments in an exclusive development of historic buildings in the grounds of Leeds Minster have been released for sale as the first phase approaches completion.

St Peter’s House & Hall is a development of just 12 individual apartments, most of which will have a parking space, on The Calls in Leeds City Centre.

St Peter’s Hall is being sensitively converted into four apartments, one of which has already been privately sold. The two remaining one bedroomed apartments are priced at £140,000 and £160,000 respectively and the two bedroomed apartment is priced at £275,000.

This is a rare opportunity to live in a heritage building in a first class location. The Calls is one of Leeds’s most popular and well known residential streets, just ten minutes from the railway station, and with a host of quality restaurants, bars, shops and theatres on the doorstep.

All three apartments have a luxury specification with contemporary kitchens and bathrooms. Jonathan adds: “Due to the high vaulted ceilings, all of the apartments are split level with mezzanine floors. The double height arched windows, which bridge the ground and mezzanine levels, deliver a central feature focus for each apartment. They also provide plenty of natural light, and really set the tone for this high-quality, sensitively restored, beautiful red-bricked building.”

The second phase of development will see St Peter’s House, which sits alongside the Hall, converted into eight one bedroom apartments. Many of these apartments include lots of original features and no two apartments are alike. The north facing apartments enjoy stunning views of Leeds Minster, whilst those to the South side of the building overlook The Calls.

Work on St Peter’s Hall will complete this month and work on St Peter’s House is set to complete in the summer. It will be a while before another development like this comes along in such a great location and we envisage that there will be very strong demand.

Lakeisha Is Crypt Factor’s Champion of Champions


This year Lakeisha King from Addleshaw Goddard was named as the champion of champions at the record breaking event which brought 750 of the region’s property industry together at Elland Road.  Nine acts, who had all won or finished as runners-up in previous years, competed for the coveted title.  This year’s event raised more than £80,000 for charities LionHeart and St George’s Crypt.

Lakeisha, a Real Estate Paralegal at Addleshaw Goddard, along with dancers Sean Meehan, who also works for the firm, and Alice Carr from Freeths Solicitors, stole the show with their performance of Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero.  The trio also won last year’s event.

In addition the event’s three founding sponsors, which includes Jonathan Morgan from Morgans City Living, Richard Lewis from Town Centre Securities Plc and Paula Dillon from Bond Dickinson, were recognised for their ten years on the organising committee.  They will now hand the event over to Bruntwood, Gent Visick and Pinsent Masons next year, which have all come on board as additional sponsors in recent years. The event is also supported by media partner The Yorkshire Post, Candid PR, Saville Audio Visual and Tiger Tiger’s Lucky Voice.

This was undoubtedly the best Crypt Factor yet, and after 10 fantastic years, raising huge amounts of money for two very deserving charities, the time is right to hand the event over to a new organising committee.  As this year’s show demonstrated, the Crypt Factor is in fine form and receives a superb level of support from Yorkshire’s property industry, so it’s ideally placed for the new sponsors to take it to the next level.

City Centre Residents Shop Until They Drop

Trinity Leeds

Leeds city centre’s booming retail offering is a major reason why so many people are flocking to live in the city according to new research carried out by Morgans.

We surveyed more than 100 of the city’s newest residents, who have rented apartments with us since the start of the year, and asked how big an attraction great shops were when they were deciding on where to live.

A total of 61% said Leeds city centre’s shops were an important factor when they rented a city apartment and 38% said they were prepared to pay a premium to live within a two minute walk of the city’s main retail areas.  In addition, 3% admitted that it would be unbearable not to have the city’s shops on their doorstep.

This research comes on the back of a string of accolades for Leeds’ retail sector in recent years, including the city being named as the best shopping destination in the UK by the Rough Guide to Britain.   The opening of Trinity in 2013 helped the city climb to third place in a league table of top retail destinations and later this year, Leeds will also become home to the largest John Lewis store outside London, when Victoria Gate opens in autumn. This will put Leeds in second place in the national retail rankings, behind London.

Leeds has hundreds of fantastic shops within easy walking distance of each other, ranging from the Victoria Quarter’s luxury brands through to Europe’s largest indoor market and everything in between.  The opening of Trinity Leeds really helped to put Leeds on the map in terms of its retail offering and when Victoria Gate opens it will elevate the city to another level again.

Residential development in Leeds is trailing behind the pace set by the retail sector.  We manage Leeds city centre’s largest rentals portfolio and our occupancy levels currently stand at over 99.5% as tenant demand continually outstrips supply, so there is a real shortage of residential stock available at the moment.

However, work is starting this year on a number of new apartment developments, which will mostly be ready to move into during 2017, by which time Victoria Gate will be helping to draw even more potential residents into the city centre.

Singers Unveiled For Tenth Crypt Factor


The eagerly anticipated line-up has been announced for the tenth Crypt Factor, which will see many of the biggest stars from the last decade returning to the stage and competing to be named as the singing competition’s champion of champions.

The show takes place at Elland Road on Thursday 10th March 2016 and will bring Yorkshire’s property industry together to raise money for LionHeart and St George’s Crypt.  The event has raised more than £420,000 for the two charities over the last nine years, and Morgans is a headline sponsor alongside Bond Dickinson, Bruntwood, Gent Visick, Pinsent Masons and Town Centre Securities Plc.

This year’s singers include last year’s winner Lakeisha King from Addleshaw Goddard, Dawn Allen from Pinsent Masons, Tom Cullen from Colliers, Joe Haigh from Bond Dickinson and Dan Hodge from Ryden.  In addition there will be duets by Andrew Thurman and Tracy Heywood from Fuse Studios, Emma Eastwood and Hannah Nota from Morgans City Living as well as Craig Burrow from Bruntwood performing with Rupert Visick from Gent Visick.  Tom Gilman from Kier, Richard Irving from ID Planning, James Espley from Santander and Shayne Niemen from Niemen Architects will also perform as a group.

This will be our best line-up of singers in our 10 year history.  They are all genuinely talented and have won or finished as finalists in previous years, so it promises to be a great evening and there’s no doubt it will raise a huge amount of money for two very deserving charities.

There has been huge demand for tables and we already have an audience of over 700 people, who predominantly work in Yorkshire’s property industry. There are only a couple of tables still available, so any companies that still haven’t booked need to act fast if they are to secure a place!

Tables On Sale For Tenth Crypt Factor


Tables are selling fast for the tenth Crypt Factor, which will see some of the biggest stars that have appeared in the annual singing competition from over the last decade, compete to be named this year’s champion of champions!

Every year Crypt Factor brings the region’s property industry together to raise money for LionHeart and St George’s Crypt and it has raised more than £420,000 for the two charities over the last nine years, making it Leeds’ most successful charity event.

Crypt Factor 2016 will be held at Elland Road on Thursday 10th March 2016.  Headline sponsors include Morgans along with Bond Dickinson, Bruntwood, Gent Visick, Pinsent Masons, Town Centre Securities Plc and The Yorkshire Post is the event’s media partner.

When we organised the first Crypt Factor 10 years ago, we could never have imagined how it would grow year on year to become one of the North of England’s biggest and most successful charity events.  The level of support we receive from the region’s property industry is always superb and this year promises to be our best show ever.  As a result, tables are already selling fast and we would urge any companies that haven’t yet booked to act now to avoid disappointment.

For the Crypt Factor’s tenth anniversary, we have a very special show planned that will see some of the property industry’s best singers, who either won or were finalists in previous years, returning to the stage.  All this year’s acts will be unveiled over the coming weeks and each and every one of them has what it takes to make this the biggest event in our 10 year history.

St George’s Crypt is based within the thriving church of St George’s in Leeds and has been at the frontline of support for homeless, disadvantaged and vulnerable people in Leeds and its surrounding areas since 1930.  LionHeart offers all types of help and support to RICS members and their families who face problems in their lives that are often completely unexpected together with the stresses and strains of everyday life.  These can include depression, disability, unemployment, family separation and debt related issues.

The remaining tables of 10 are priced at £1250 + VAT and can be reserved by calling 0113 2615713. Further information is available via Twitter @cryptfactor.