London investor-developer – Avanton – has announced its plans to invest up to £500m in strategic land acquisitions over the next three years – as part of a major expansion into the capital’s Build to Rent sector. The announcement underlines Avanton’s intention to expand into the rapidly-growing Build to Rent sector in the capital where there remains a significant lack of high quality, purpose built, rental stock in relation to demand.
The new land fund will target the acquisition of sites across Inner London in areas such as Islington, Southwark, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Hammersmith, Lambeth, Camden and Brent – with a view to delivering up to 5,000 Build to Rent homes between 2021 and 2023. Avanton will focus on acquiring sites with land values of £20m to £100m – and providing for between 300 to 1,000 homes per development.
“The only viable solution to London’s housing crisis and the shortage of supply of new homes in the capital is delivering multiple tenure schemes and expanding Build to Rent, intermediate and social housing provision.
“This is why Avanton is currently undergoing a three-year expansion into the Build to Rent and mixed-tenure sectors. To implement this we have set aside £500m and are seeking attractive land opportunities to grow our Build to Rent development pipeline yet further.”Omer Weinberger, CEO, Avanton
Working both alone as well as through Joint Venture partnerships, Avanton will focus its future acquisitions on either consented sites, sites without planning permission, or those with existing commercial consents offering the potential for a change of use to residential.
Avanton has already begun to assemble a significant portfolio of Build to Rent pipeline projects. In Richmond, Avanton and partner ICG have a newly consented £250m (GDV) urban-village development on the 4.45-acre Homebase site off Manor Road. The development will deliver 453 apartments with a pocket-park, retail, community and office uses, and landscaping designed by architectural practice Assael Architecture.
Avanton also has consent for a £730m (GDV) Ruby Triangle project – on Old Kent Road in Southwark – which will provide 1,414 new homes, of which circa 50% will be Build to Rent, with the Farrells designed scheme providing between 17 to 48 storey residential towers designed around a central park and complete with sports hall, gymnasium, retail units, workshops and studios. Avanton has a third pipeline site in the London Borough of Brent which will allow for 500 Build to Rent homes.
In addition, Avanton has just handed over to project partner A2Dominion – which has a collection of 169 completed Build to Rent homes at the group’s Coda development in Battersea. The apartments are across two striking buildings, six and 11 storeys respectively, and designed by award winning practice Patel Taylor, with the architecture inspired by Battersea’s Victorian mansion blocks. The apartments are located in brand new, efficient to manage blocks, with the service charges set at below £4 per sq ft.
“We are seeking to expand our Build to Rent, mixed tenure and private sale portfolios because despite the obvious challenges the property market has been extremely resilient and recovered rapidly last year after the lockdown. This year the market sentiment has been cautiously upbeat as the UK has taken a global lead in the vaccine rollout and we see great opportunity at this moment in the property cycle.”David Ronson, Sales & Marketing Director, Avanton
Over the past 12 months, Avanton has made a series of new senior appointments across sales, marketing, investment analyst and transactions, bringing high-profile experience to the business across Build to Rent, residential private sale, commercial and other property classes.