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Developers and investors eye UK high-rise living boom, report says

Developers and investors are capitalising on a trend towards high-rise living and constructing an increasing number of residential towers across the UK, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Research from real estate firm CBRE in May predicted a boom in residential towers within London, reporting that 135 buildings of 20 or more storeys were either under construction or in the planning pipeline in the capital. The research found that the boom was driven by increased land values, with pressure on developers to use their sites more efficiently and higher values being attached to residential units higher up.

A report in the Financial Times this week identified several examples of high-rise residential development in the capital, including developer HUB Residential's Royal Docks towers, which are currently under construction, and a proposed 45-storey building in Elephant and Castle, for which RealStar Living received planning permission last month.

The trend was not restricted to London, said the report, noting that regional developer Moda Living (ML) had plans to construct at least 1,500 new homes in residential towers in other parts of the country. The report said ML was expected to submit planning applications for a 36-storey tower at Angel Gardens in Manchester and a 40-storey tower housing 325 homes in Liverpool, and had future plans for projects in Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

ML director Johnny Caddick told the Financial Times that his company saw a particular opportunity for the private rented sector growth in Manchester, which had "the fastest-growing population outside London" and a large number of people living in "poor-quality and poorly-managed". The report said that institutional investors including insurance companies and pension funds were increasingly attracted to rented housing projects, which it said offered "long term, often index-linked returns".

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