An introduction to Salboy. The North-west’s most active property developer was recently named the Bespoke & Urban Developer of the Year for the Insider North West Residential Property Awards 2021. Founded by proud Salfordians Simon Ismail and Fred Done
From a standing start six years ago, Salboy has succeeded in shaking up development in the UK’s second city – Manchester. In 2020 against the backdrop of the unprecedented global pandemic, Salboy completed 1,330 new homes of uncompromising design and build quality. Every property completed during this time frame was sold to both investors and owner-occupiers, and these sales were all taken through to completion and occupation despite the lockdown restrictions.
Despite challenges from the pandemic, Salboy and our construction arm, DOMIS, remained on track with only two weeks of downtime and a rapid response to COVID-19 regulations; including implementing one way systems on sites, spending £250,000 on PPE and sanitiser, employing extra security staff and commissioning independent safety audits to keep contractors safe. The established fast payment principle ensured loyalty when the supply of materials and labour became challenging.
It’s been a tough year, but Salboy is proud to have:
■ Completed six different projects
■ Delivered 1,330 apartments and townhouses
■ Restored two Grade II listed buildings
■ Created 3,500+ on-site and contractor jobs
■ Delivered £302.4m of GDV
■ Launched three amazing new residential schemes
How is the Greater Manchester property market responding?
Our unique position in the market at this time means our “thumb is firmly on the pulse” in Manchester. But how has this translated to the rental market? The first quarter of this year saw a 34% rise in the number of properties being rented compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019. (urbanbubble Research and Insights Q1 2021 Quarterly Report).
Some areas of the city have seen rents increase by up to 24% in the last five years. This has meant that investors with properties in Manchester are now attaining an average of 5-6% rental yields compared to 2-4% seen in London.
‘With more than 1,300 homes sold, our teams are receiving over 200 enquiries a week, and our new developments are seeing high occupancy levels‘
In the first quarter of this year, average monthly rents in built-to-rent developments across Manchester city centre ranged from £992 for a one-bedroom property to £1,345 for a two-bedroom and £1,821 for a three-bedroom.
Benjamin Ashcroft, Head of Marketing at Salboy, said: “Despite the challenges, Salboy has delivered all our schemes as planned in the last 12 months. Demand from property investors and owner-occupiers has remained high throughout the entire period.
“With more than 1,300 homes sold, our teams are receiving over 200 enquiries a week, and our new developments are seeing high occupancy levels. This demand is one of the reasons why Greater Manchester remains a large focus for us.”
Strong response to new builds
While we always had a healthy level of interest from UK investors, a side effect of the booming secondary market is that we are seeing an increased number of property investors considering off-plan property purchases. Some may have traditionally focused on HMOs and lower-end completed stock but due to the rise in house prices and squeezing of yields. This further reduced the availability of completed stock, which was selling at a huge premium in a short amount of time.
There has been increasing demand for high-quality new builds without the cladding issues many older buildings face. Locations where property prices are seeing the most growth, including the North West of England, offer much better long term capital appreciation and resale opportunities.
‘There has been increasing demand for high-quality new builds without the cladding issues many older buildings face’
This led to a very strong uptake of our new launches of city centre apartment blocks, including Fifty5ive Queen St, which is situated next to our completed Blackfriars development. Our flagship mixed-use scheme Viadux is located next to the iconic Beetham Tower and features stunning amenities like no other in the city.
Equally, we’ve found an increase in first-time buyers and owner-occupiers willing to consider buying off-plan. With our ‘owner-occupier only’ housing development, Castle Irwell, homes sold out in the first three phases at launch without a single site visit or showhome built.
Making plans for the future
Off the back of this busy but challenging time, we’ve made traction with our new launches and have plenty of plans in the works. Especially Greater Manchester, London and the southeast of England and beyond.
Completed Salboy Projects
Local Crescent, Salford
399 apartments in two towers linked by a row of seven townhouses
98% sold out
Transmission House, Manchester City Centre
183 apartments over eight storeys with a central courtyard and three rooftop gardens
Sold out – fully occupied
Ingersley Crescent, Bollington, Cheshire
12 luxury freehold three-bedroom homes with private studies
75% sold out
The Press, Manchester City Centre
Grade II listed conversion to create 66 apartments with a central glazed atrium and two restored townhouses
90% sold out
Burlington Square, Manchester
273 apartments over nine storeys next to the University of Manchester
Sold out – fully occupied
Local Blackfriars, Salford
380 apartments in two blocks framing a central landscaped garden and a new street of eight townhouses.
Meet the founders
Simon Ismaill has 20 years of property and finance experience and is active in all areas of the business. He has a track record of successfully managing a number of property finance companies, growing one of the most reputable development funders in the UK. Later founded Salboy & Domis Construction with the backing of Fred Done. Lifelong Manchester United fan and proud Salfordian.
Fred Done is a British billionaire businessman and sports personality, famous for being the co-founder of Betfred. Fred has invested in numerous successful businesses and owns a substantial residential and commercial property empire. With a personal passion for horse racing and Manchester United.
A phoenix from the ashes
One of Salford’s most historic pubs opened to rave reviews after two decades and a £1.4m restoration.
The Black Friar pub has been through some tough times – it survived an inner-city bypass slicing through the heart of old Salford right next to it. For almost two decades, it has been closed and the interior damaged by vandals and a major fire.
The Grade II listed building was built in 1886 by William Ball in red brick and red sandstone. Quirky decorative stone-work features still survive in its outer walls, including a pair of jolly drinkers. But this summer after a £1.4m restoration and a few years as a marketing suite for 380 apartments, which now rise above it, The Black Friar has returned to its origins as a pub.
Developer Salboy’s construction partner Domis built an £80m apartment block, called Local Blackfriars, on land surrounding the pub and formed a partnership with experienced hospitality operations manager Neil Burke to turn the Black Friar into a pub restaurant. This is all part of Salboy’s long-term regeneration plans for the Greengate area.
Fifty5ive, Queen Street, Manchester City Centre