12 April 2017
Reporter: Theo Andrew
Joint venture invests £116 million on PRS portfolio
Invesco Real Estate and Platform_, a national developer, have established a joint venture for the management of a private rented sector (PRS) portfolio.

The partnership will invest £116 million in 580 homes across five cities, including developments in Bracknell and Exeter, which launched in April 2016 and July 2016, respectively, and are now fully established.

Developments in Bedford, Crawley and Stevenage launched in March 2017 and, according to the joint venture, are expected to be stabilised by the end of the summer.

Each development represents its town’s first homes designed specifically for rent. They include amenities such as gyms and roof terraces.

The announcement of the joint venture comes after the February release of a housing white paper from the UK government, encouraging institutional investment into the PRS, and suggesting that demand is far outstripping supply in the sector.

The government has supported the build-to-rent scheme in the UK through a £3.5 billion Private Rented Sector Housing Guarantee Scheme, and a £1 billion Build-to-Rent Fund.

According to Platform_, the portfolio was built by taking advantage of lax planning laws, allowing old office space to be converted into new housing.

Jean-Marc Vandevivere, CEO of Platform_, said: “We intend to build on this first portfolio deal to continue our expansion, as we seek to become Britain’s leading build to rent brand, combining thoughtful design with professional management and a tech-savvy approach to the customer experience.”

He added: “This deal marks a huge vote of confidence in the UK PRS sector, and demonstrates there is clear investor appetite for quality, high-spec product outside of major cities with proven asset managers.”

John German, senior director of residential investments at Invesco, said: “This investment for our large scale UK PRS programme aims to provide long-term income returns for our investors.”

He added: “A fundamental part of our programme is to work with reputable partners to ensure our units are designed and built for purpose, and that operational efficiencies exist with an on site property manager. We are therefore pleased to be working with Platform_ on this first portfolio, and potentially other exciting opportunities for our growing and diverse portfolio.”

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