Back in July I highlighted that the planning application for a £400m Rochester redevelopment project had been submitted to Medway Council. Regeneration of the 74 acre brownfield site adjacent to Rochester train station, would see 1400 new homes built, as well as over 8,000 square metres of non-residential floorspace and a new primary school. Medway Council have now given outline approval to the £400 million application and work is expected to begin later this year, with the first new homes being completed in 2019.
Awarded to Countryside Properties back in March, the £400m regeneration of Rochester Riverside is anticipated to take 12 years to complete and, as well as the new homes I mentioned, will include a nursery, hotels, restaurants, a gym, office and retail space. The developers, Countryside and the Hyde Group, chose bptw partnership and HTA Design LLP, as the architects for the design and delivery of the project plans. They closely managed the application process, which was unanimously approved by Medway Council.
The proposal sees the project being delivered in seven phases. Medway Council gave detailed approval for the first three phases which will provide 459 new homes along with some commercial facilities. The transformational mixed-use regeneration project is anticipated to help meet the area’s housing needs, with around 25% of new homes being designated as affordable.
This may help – but it will not resolve – the huge shortage of affordable property in the Medway towns. Developments such as the Rochester regeneration are being approved, but not quick enough to stay in line with demand. Which means tenants are looking for other viable housing options. In the search for new solutions, the HMO market is thriving. High quality, entirely affordable HMOs are in increasing demand. Just last week I sourced and refurbished a 3 bedroom flat into a 4 bedroom HMO, which my specialist HMO letting agency, Home-Share, is now managing. It was fully let within a matter of days and is providing the landlord with a 9.5% net yield (12% gross).
In my opinion HMOs offer the perfect solution for providing homes to Medway’s growing population. Even during the regeneration project, the demand for good quality HMO accommodation in the area is likely to increase because there will be lots of contractors working at the riverside development.
Overall, the whole development could attract more people from London, therefore gentrifying Rochester further. And an increase of quality housing stock, such as this mixed development, may well increase demand as more people view Rochester as a desirable area.
If you are looking to invest in an HMO and want some impartial advice on suitable properties; or if you have a property you think could be converted to an HMO, get in touch. I’m always happy to advise on the viability of a property and have all the resources you need to get started in refurbishing one, ready to let. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with me via LinkedIn or join our discussion group over on Facebook.