Avanton looks to expand into London’s rapidly-growing BTR market
A leading London investor-developer has revealed plans to invest up to £500 million in strategic land acquisitions over the next three years, as part of a major expansion into the capital’s Build to Rent (BTR) sector.
Avanton, which is already an established operator in the residential build-to-sell market, now looks to expand into the capital’s rapidly-growing BTR market, where there is ‘a significant lack’ of high-quality, purpose-built, rental stock in relation to demand.
The new £500 million land acquisition fund will target the purchase of sites in inner London, with a view to deliver up to 5,000 BTR units between 2021 and 2023.
Avanton intends to secure sites valued between £20 million and £100 million, providing for between 300 to 1,000 units per BTR development.
The company says that it will focus its future acquisitions on consented sites, sites without planning permission or those with existing commercial consents, which offer the potential for a change of use to residential.
Avanton has already started to assemble a significant portfolio of BTR pipeline projects, which includes a newly consented £250 million urban-village development in Richmond with partner ICG. The project aims to deliver 453 high-quality apartments complete with a pocket-park, retail, community and office uses, and landscaping.
Meanwhile, Avanton has consent for the £730 million Ruby Triangle project in Southwark, which is set to provide 1,414 new homes, out of which around 50% will be BTR. The Farrells-designed scheme will provide residential towers, constructed around a central park and include sports hall, gymnasium, retail units, workshops and studios. The company also has a third pipeline site in the London Borough of Brent which will allow for 500 BTR units.
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 BTR, intermediate and social housing provision, Omer Weinberger, chief executive of Avanton, said.
This is why Avanton is currently undergoing a three-year expansion into the BTR and mixed-tenure sectors. To implement this, we have set aside £500 million and are seeking attractive land opportunities to grow our BTR development pipeline yet further, Weinberger said.
David Ronson, sales and marketing director of Avanton, added: We are seeking to expand our BTR, 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.
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