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20th April 2018

Living In The City by Peter Lee

When you think of city centre living what springs to mind? Sleek, rented apartments with panoramic views? Well, you are not far wrong, and according to a new report, this way of living could make you happier!

Downtown residents living in apartment blocks have been found to be more active and socially engaged than people who live in the sprawl of suburbia, according to a study by Oxford University and the University of Hong Kong.

The report aimed to challenge popular beliefs about city life and showed that in 22 British cities people living in built up residential areas had lower levels of obesity and exercised more than residents in scattered, suburban homes.

Its authors said their findings should encourage politicians to promote the benefits of city living and having worked in the city centre lettings sector in Sheffi eld for the last 20 years; I am a real advocate of this way of life.

Sheffield city centre really does have the potential to be a fantastic place to learn, work, live, relax and shop. The compact and highly pedestrianised centre boasts a mix of large chain stores, independent retailers, restaurants, bars, art galleries, theatres, cinemas, museums, indoor market, live music venues and open spaces. A wellformed transport infrastructure with excellent connections to cities such as London and Manchester make it appealing to commuters, and the proximity to Peak District is another key selling point.

While the city centre apartment market is not as mature as other northern cities like Manchester and Leeds, as much as 98 percent of the rental market in the city centre is dominated by studios, one and two-bed apartments.

The demand for high-quality apartments for young professionals remains as high as ever, and following a somewhat stagnated sector for many years, there is a real buzz around the city since regeneration specialist Queensbury was appointed in June 2016 by Sheffield City Council.

A master plan, which (at the time of writing) is close to being finalised, has started to attract attention from retailers, high-end hoteliers, and, in particular, Build to Rent operators. Build to Rent schemes, whereby flats and houses are built purely for private rent with the building owned by a large investor or fund, are established in London and are well underway in the likes of Manchester and Leeds.

Redbrik is heavily involved in the advisory stages of various Build to Rent schemes set for South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire, which have tremendous potential. It does feel like we are on the cusp of an exciting new era for city centre living.

We have created this handy guide to help you find your perfect city centre lettings location.

CULTURAL INDUSTRIES QUARTER

Regeneration and investment in this area have attracted new businesses, bars and restaurants. Close to the train station, Sheffi eld Hallam University and home to the Digital Campus. Average rental values for Butcher Works and Leadmill Court are:

• One-bed apartment – £600 pcm

• Two-bed apartment – £775 pcm

• Contract parking available

HEART OF THE CITY

One of the most desirable areas of the city centre to live in with a bustling and lively atmosphere. An abundance of restaurants, bars, shops, theatres and galleries are right on the doorstep.

Average rental values for City Lofts and Pinstone Chambers are:

• One-bed apartment – £700 pcm

• Two-bed apartment – £995 pcm

• Contract parking available

CATHEDRAL QUARTER

Centrally located and close to shops, restaurants and the Supertram network. It is also home to Sheffi eld’s Financial District. Average rental values for Velocity Village, Metis and St James Row are:

• One-bed apartment – £675 pcm

• Two-bed apartment – £800 pcm

• Parking available on some sites

DEVONSHIRE QUARTER

Attracts an overall younger demographic but also proves popular with families due to the availability of three-bedroom apartments. Restaurants and bars and the University of Sheffi eld are all close by and Devonshire Green urban park is a particular highlight. Average rental values for West.One and Royal Plaza are:

• One-bed apartment – £675 pcm

• Two-bed apartment – £950 pcm

• Three-bed apartment – £1200 pcm

• Including parking on site

KELHAM ISLAND

The so-called ‘trendy’ district, which has an industrial past and a bright future thanks to ongoing development. Home to a plethora of real ale pubs, restaurants, a night food market and wine bar all set on the banks of the River Don. Average rental values for Cornish Place, Brooklyn Works, Cornish Steel Works are:

• One-bed apartment – £650 pcm

• Two-bed apartment – £850 pcm

• Very limited parking!

ECCLESALL ROAD JUNCTION

Located to the south of the city centre, Ecclesall Road Junction bridges the gap between city centre living and suburban Sheffi eld. The lively, cosmopolitan area offers a vast choice of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and food outlets and is just a ten-minute walk from the city centre. Average rental values for Wards Brewery and Velocity Tower are:

• One-bed apartment – £650 pcm

• Two-bed apartment – £825 pcm

• Parking included with some developments or on-street parking available

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