Grainger plc, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord reports a 23% rise in adjusted earnings to £46.3m, with the primary driver the £8.1m increase in net rental income. Growth was driven by 98% occupancy across Grainger’s £2.2bn operational PRS portfolio, which is currently 71% of the company’s portfolio by value. Total like-for-like rental growth was 3.5% for the period, dividend per share was up 14%, and Grainger has made four acquisitions in the first half of the year.
Over the past twelve months, Grainger has stabilised six new assets totalling 1,304 homes – exceeded leasing expectations across all, and delivering £16m of additional net rental income and £23m of valuation gains. The company expects to deliver a further 1,174 homes this year and c.1,741 next year. Grainger’s total £2.4bn pipeline will see its portfolio more than double in target cities over the coming years, with significant delivery happening year on year, driving earnings growth.
With 5m renters in the UK and only 1.4% of these Build to Rent properties, Grainger states that the continuing exit of small landlords from the market presents a significant opportunity for the company to grow its market share – further supported by rental growth and yield compression prospects and a landlord-friendly investment landscape when compared to other major international rental markets.
Grainger’s four acquisitions in the first half of the year potentially adds c.1,131 homes to its Build to Rent pipeline, and £14m of annual net rental income. Three sites were land acquisitions and the fourth a forward funding project. Two projects sit within the company’s secured pipeline and two are in the planning process. The Build to Rent schemes include:
- Merrick Place, Southall, London: secured, forward funding project delivering 401 homes with a potential £6m net rental income. The scheme builds on Grainger’s West London cluster of 959 homes.
- Exmouth Junction, Exeter: secured, direct development delivering 230 homes, with a potential £3m net rental income. This is Grainger’s first Build to Rent scheme in Exeter.
- Berewood, Hampshire: direct development in the planning and legal pipeline. Grainger acquired the remaining interest in the land, enabling it to add a further c.250 homes, with a potential £3m net rental income.
- Brook Place 2, Sheffield: direct development in the planning & legal pipeline which will deliver c.250 homes, with a potential £2m net rental income. This scheme builds on Grainger’s Sheffield cluster of c.750 homes.
Grainger’s Build to Rent pipeline
So far in this financial year, Grainger has launched two Build to Rent schemes comprising 448 new homes, representing £5m potential net rental income. The Pin Yard scheme in Leeds, which launched in March 2022, includes 216 homes. The scheme is 65% let at rents above underwriting, exceeding Grainger’s expectations and currently outperforming its record lease up at The Headline in Leeds in 2021. Grainger also launched the first phase at Weavers Yard, Newbury in April 2022, which includes 232 Build to Rent homes. The final phases are due to complete in 2023.
A further three Build to Rent schemes will be delivered this year, with a potential net rental income of £8m. These include Gilders Yard in Birmingham (158 homes, £2m NRI) launching imminently, Enigma Square in Milton Keynes (261 homes, £3m NRI), and the Copper Works in Cardiff (307 homes, £3m NRI) completing toward the end of the year.
Transport for London joint venture pipeline progress
Grainger’s pipeline progress also continues with Transport for London. Since its partnership in 2019, Grainger has secured full planning consent on four schemes in London totalling 1,204 new homes, with construction expected to start in the next financial year. Planning committee has resolved to approve consent on a fifth scheme – Cockfosters – which is subject to agreeing the Section 106 agreement and TFL gaining clearance from the Department for Transport for the release of the land.
“We have delivered a particularly strong performance for the first half of the year with Adjusted Earnings up +23%, largely driven by our acceleration of growth in Net Rental Income of +23%. This is a result of an exceptional lettings performance by the team, which also drove occupancy in our PRS portfolio to 98% combined with like-for-like rental growth of 3.5% and a record rate of lease up of our recent launches. The market has strengthened swiftly over the past six months and we have successfully capitalised on this opportunity.
“We are delivering on our growth plans which will see us double in size in the coming years, providing exceptional earnings growth and attractive high single digit total returns to shareholders. The UK rental market continues to have a hugely attractive outlook with significant demand, rental growth, yield compression, and structural drivers that favour the professional, large-scale landlord. At the same time, Grainger is in a strong position as market leader with a scalable national operating platform, fully-funded secured pipeline and fully integrated business model.
“We are well prepared for the economic challenges facing the UK today of inflation and cost of living rises. With a resilient customer base, high quality energy efficient homes, fixed debt costs, fixed delivery costs across the majority of our secured pipeline and limited direct exposure to other inflationary pressures, we are confident in the outlook for our business.”Helen Gordon, Chief Executive, Grainger