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Development roundup – from BTR portfolios to resi partnerships

This week, Property Investor Today takes a look at the latest development and investment news, featuring Avanton’s breakout into the BTR sector and Hilltop Credit’s substantial loan for a Leicester residential scheme, as well as Farleigh’s loan for a Reading development and two new housing deals for Gresham House.

Avanton launches premium BTR portfolio with new luxury brand

London investor-developer Avanton has launched its Build to Rent (BTR) portfolio and new A:Living brand as part of its major expansion into London’s BTR sector.


A:Living, standing for Avanton Living, is the firm’s new brand that will operate Build to Rent units across the capital, with the first 20 units now launched and immediately available at Coda. 

The premium two-bedroom apartments are sprinkled between the 2nd and 20th floors, each with a private terrace overlooking the landscaped gardens or the London skyline, with prices starting from £650 to £1,000 per week, available through Savills.

Avanton collaborated with three interior designers such as Andrew Martin to curate the portfolio, with all the apartments available fully furnished. Residents will benefit from Coda’s lifestyle amenities which includes a private residents’ club lounge, dedicated concierge, and state-of-the-art fitness studio, alongside access to the landscaped gardens.

The launch of A:Living follows the company’s announced expansion plans into the BTR sector, with several key pipeline projects alongside a £500 million fund for strategic land acquisitions. On Old Kent Road in Southwark, Avanton has consent for the £730 million (GDV) Ruby Triangle project which will provide 1,414 new homes, of which circa 50% will be Build to Rent.

The Farrells-designed scheme will comprise residential towers, between 17 to 48 storeys in height, designed around a central park and complete with sports hall, gymnasium, retail units, workshops and studios.

Omer Weinberger, chief executive officer of Avanton, comments: “The build-to-rent sector is rapidly growing across the capital and last year we committed to a three-year expansion into this sector, seeking land and strategic opportunities to deliver high-quality purpose-built stock to meet the market demand.”

“The launch of A:Living is an exciting step, with our pipeline developments set to further deliver a diverse portfolio of build-to-rent units for young Londoners to choose from.”

The A:Living rental units at Coda are available from £650 to £1,000 per week, fully furnished. For further information, contact Savills (Battersea Bridge) here.

Hilltop Credit Partners completes £8.7m loan for resi Leicester scheme

Specialist funding partner Hilltop Credit Partners has completed an £8.7 million loan to Mitchian Alliance Limied for the development of 69 residential units in central Leicester.

The project will deliver 53 one-bed and 16 two-bed flats and a small ground-floor retail unit next to the Waterside regeneration project, just 10 minutes from the city centre and less than a mile to Leicester train station.

All residential units feature bedrooms with Juliet Balconies and are priced within the government’s regional Help To Buy limits.

As part of the regeneration of the local area, which is expected to benefit from circa £80 million of new investment, Leicester City Council is strictly controlling the provision of new-build housing, creating what Hilltop believes to be a favourable supply/demand dynamic for the development.

Prices for properties in Leicester city centre are lower than the surrounding areas, which has made them a popular choice for buy-to-let investors, given the high proportion of graduates from two Russell Group universities who remain in the area due to the wide range of industries located nearby.

The project sponsor team is comprised of a local developer/contractor and a project manager with 40 years’ experience across multiple industries and areas, including the completion of a £13 million residential scheme in Leicester city centre.

Commenting on the partnership, Philip Mitchell of Mitchian Alliance says: “The team at Hilltop has understood our requirements from the get-go, addressed every stage of the development cycle and simplified the funding process. Their model is perfect for us as we embark upon a period of scaling our business.”

Paul Oberschneider, founder and chief executive officer of Hilltop Credit Partners, adds: “A vibrant university city with great connectivity, strong employment credentials and comparatively affordable housing makes Leicester an attractive location for development. Within the city centre, the limited supply of residential property adds to a compelling proposition.”

Farleigh secures £4.5m funding for Reading development

Farleigh has secured a £4.5 million funding package from Paragon Development Finance to support a new residential scheme in Reading.

The finance has assisted with the purchase of land on London Road and the development of 21 one, two and three-bedroom apartments. The scheme also includes a commercial unit on the ground floor of the building.

Work on the scheme has commenced and is due to be complete by May 2023.

The deal was led on behalf of the bank by Relationship Director Adrian Reeves, with support from Portfolio Manager Bonnie McCloskey. This marks the second deal that Paragon has completed with Farleigh.

Development roundup – from BTR portfolios to resi partnerships

Robert Mulligan, co-founder of Farleigh, says: “We’re pleased to have started the development on this project, which we feel will be popular with those looking for urban living in a thriving city.

“Adrian and the team at Paragon understand our business fully and they are one of the first lenders we turn to when looking for a finance partner for our projects.”

Adrian Reeves, relationship director at Paragon, adds: “Farleigh is building a great track record of successful developments, with a focus on high-end finish. The company is only six years old but has forged a great reputation in that short period.”

Gresham House concludes 2021 with two new housing deals

Gresham House’s real estate team has committed to delivering more than £275 million to secure 1,499 homes.

Throughout the course of 2021, the firm has partnered with housing associations, local authorities and private developers and included over 100 operational carbon-neutral houses with ilke Homes – a first for the team.

In two exciting new deals focused on investing to deliver much needed sustainable, affordable housing, the team has committed to two shared ownership developments via Gresham House Residential Secure Income LP (ReSI LP). Located in Henley-on-Thames and Solihull, these comprise a total of 104 homes. 

The deals bolster Gresham House’s appetite for forging long-term partnerships with UK national housebuilders, as well as supporting regional SME developers, via forward funding and forward purchase contract structures. 

In Solihull, the Gresham House team and developer Charles Church have worked together to deliver best-in-class placemaking through quality of design, space standards, amenity spaces and fit-out specifications. Situated near Birmingham City Centre and Birmingham International Airport, the 61 homes will comprise a mix of houses and apartments, with the benefit of private balconies. With Solihull’s house price-to-earnings ratio at 8x, the project addresses a need for more affordable housing in the area.

In Henley-upon Thames, South Oxfordshire, the team has made a forward fund commitment for £12.6 million with high-quality, SME developer Howarth Homes, that will deliver 43 shared ownership homes, with the support of Homes England.

All homes are within walking distance of the town centre as well as beautiful countryside and will all benefit from private outdoor amenity space and allocated parking. Designed with sustainability in mind, the units will utilise elements of off-site construction and provide solar panels and electric vehicle charging points. The scheme will expand the pool of affordable shared ownership properties available in South Oxfordshire, which is an area of high unaffordability, with a house price to earnings ratio at 10x.

Gresham House Residential Secure Income LP invests through ReSI Homes Limited, its wholly-owned for-profit Registered Provider subsidiary. ReSI Homes is one of only five for-profit providers recently selected as a strategic partner to deliver new affordable housing across the country, and will receive £56 million in grant funding from the Greater London Authority to support the delivery of 1,250 more shared ownership homes over the coming five years.


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