Moorfield funds first co-living investment in West London

Moorfield extends its UK residential footprint with its first co-living investment in Ealing, West London.

What the co-living scheme in Ealing, West London will look like - Moorfield | BTR News
What the co-living scheme in Ealing, West London will look like.

UK-focused real estate fund manager – Moorfield Group – on behalf of its Moorfield Real Estate Fund IV agrees to forward fund a new co-living scheme in Ealing, West London. The transaction is the first investment by a joint venture between Moorfield and Funding House (the ‘Zennor’ partnership), offering experienced developers in the UK ‘Living’ sector the opportunity to enter into forward funding agreements with an experienced and well-respected investment partner. A co-investment mechanism permits developers to generate additional returns through the increased value of assets anticipated following operational stabilisation. 

Moorfield was advised by Shoosmiths, and the £21m investment represents Moorfield’s entry into the London co-living sector, which is expected to be a beneficiary of demand from young professionals looking for affordable, high quality and flexible accommodation. 

“We are excited to be partnering with Moorfield, who have a long and successful track record of investing in the UK with entrepreneurial partners. This transaction marks our entry into the co-living sector and we expect this to be the first in a significant series of similar investments for the joint venture in the UK ‘Living’ sector.”

Tim Attlee, Founder, Funding House

The new co-living scheme near Ealing Broadway in West London will deliver an 81 bedroom best-in-class scheme and will include high quality en-suite studios across a range of unit types. Acquiring the site in November 2019, subject to planning, and subsequently secured consent for 81 units, Urbane London, the specialist, London-focused residential developer will act as the development manager.  

The Squire & Partners designed scheme is expected to welcome its first residents in late 2023. The co-living scheme will deliver 1,800 sq ft of amenity space including a south facing roof terrace, co-working space, kitchens and storage for 83 bikes. The BREEAM Very Good scheme has strong environmental and social credentials including an air source heat pump, photovoltaic panels, no gas services, a biophilic design, and a private rooftop for residents to aid wellbeing.

Moorfield's co-living development in Ealing, West London - funded by a joint venture with Funding House | BTR News
Moorfield’s co-living development in Ealing, West London – funded by a joint venture with Funding House.

“We are excited that the Ealing site has been chosen as the first investment of the Zennor partnership. Between Moorfield and Funding House there is a wealth of experience, and a proven track record. We believe the scheme will showcase the absolute best of what co-living can be. Our aim has been to create sustainable, high-quality homes and socially permeable communities, with design quality at the heart.”

Holly Porter, Founding Director, Urbane London

The co-living scheme is located less than a one-minute walk from Ealing Broadway station, a major single-level interchange station which will connect residents to Heathrow in 15 minutes, Bond Street in 11 minutes, and Canary Wharf in 25 minutes, via the soon to open Elizabeth Line. Ealing was ranked the third best place to live in London last year and benefits from a diverse food and beverage, leisure, hospitality, outdoor amenity and lifestyle offering, which is expected to further underpin strong demand for an affordable, well-designed rental proposition.

The opportunity in the London co-living sector is supported by rapid population growth and a chronic shortage of housing, with the Mayor of London’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment identifying the need for 66,000 additional homes per annum in the capital. London’s population is forecast to reach 9.5m by 2026, with the private rented sector accounting for 35% of housing. As a result of urbanisation and densification, and with flexibility increasingly cited as a key factor for renters, co-living is well positioned to meet the demand of those people who either don’t want to or are unable to acquire their own home, with the average house in London costing 15x average earnings.

“Increasing demand, underpinned by a growing youthful population and exacerbated by housing undersupply and limited affordability, underpins our conviction in the nascent London co-living sector. This acquisition is fully aligned with our strategy of pioneering investment in sectors benefitting from demographic and societal change, and will deliver a high quality, amenity-led rental product with strong sustainability credentials, in one of London’s most dynamic and well-connected submarkets.

“We are also excited to be partnering with Funding House, pairing our proven investment expertise with experienced and reputable developers in the living sectors capable of delivering sustainable and future-proofed schemes. At the same time, the partnership’s co-investment structure offers developers the opportunity to generate attractive additional returns and ensures all parties are aligned in delivering the highest quality rental product and service to residents.”

Ross Netherway, Head of Origination, Moorfield Group

The investment further extends Moorfield’s investment in the UK residential sector, which for many years has comprised investments in Build to Rent (More.), student accommodation (Domain) and retirement villages (Audley). More recently, Moorfield has entered the nursing and dementia care home sector with a £125m partnership with Allegra Care, invested in family homes through the acquisition and leaseback of a portfolio of show-homes from the housebuilder, Avant Homes, formed a £600m joint venture with Bricklane to invest in single family homes, and partnered with We Are Kin to build a nationwide portfolio of professionally managed student houses.