11 May 2017

Legal & General secures Leeds as next build to rent city.

Legal & General has today announced that it has bought a Build To Rent (BTR) site in the centre of Leeds.

Legal & General has today announced that it has bought a Build To Rent (BTR) site in the centre of Leeds, marking the fifth UK city to which it will bring its new rental offer. This latest investment brings Legal & General's total pipeline of BTR units to over 1,400 with an expected gross development value across the portfolio of ,~420m.

The Leeds site, Mustard Wharf, has been acquired from U+I in partnership with CTP, and has permission for 250 homes as well as 8,640 sq ft of commercial and amenity space. Just a five minute walk from Leeds Train Station, the central site is situated in Granary Wharf, an established retail, leisure and residential location. It also benefits from being strategically important to the wider regeneration area of South Bank. Legal & General expects to be able to begin construction on the ,~60m scheme in early 2018, with practical completion aimed for early 2020.

Legal & General's total investment capability for the Build to Rent (BTR) sector currently stands at circa ,~1 billion, having raised capital from major pension funds for an open-ended Build to Rent (BTR) fund, as well as a ,~600 million JV investment by Legal & General Capital and PGGM. Its existing sites in Bristol, Bath and Walthamstow are progressing well and its first scheme in Salford is due to welcome its first residents at the start of June.

Legal & General is involved in housing creation across the spectrum, backing a fast growing pipeline of over 70,000 new homes over the next five to ten years and looking to help provide the UK's population with high quality, affordable living at all stages in their life cycle. Forming an important part of this, its Build to Rent fund is creating bespoke, quality rental stock that offers a positive choice for elective renters through high service levels and flexible lease structures.

Focused on key urban regeneration areas centred around transport hubs, it is targeting schemes of over 150 units, taking advantage of economies of scale to deliver better value and more choice for its residents, whilst building sustainable, vibrant communities.

Dan Batterton, BTR Fund Manager at LGIM Real Assets, said: "In our view Mustard Wharf is the ideal location for a BTR scheme in Leeds. It is close to major transport links and local amenities, and complements the wider regeneration of the local area, supporting job growth and the local economy over the long term. We are excited that we are going to create a new standard of rental accommodation and service in a thriving community."

Mathieu Elshout, Senior Director Private Real Estate at PGGM, commented: "PGGM Private Real Estate builds strategic partnerships all over the world. This acquisition demonstrates the success of our partnership with Legal & General, having already secured five UK City regeneration schemes for our joint venture since its start last year. This enables us to make a positive difference to the built environment.

Shaping the project from the outset, the Legal & General asset management team are able to create from scratch, good quality residential accommodation that suits renters' needs and offers a new, professional level of customer service, while also addressing the UK's housing shortage. As a responsible investor of Dutch pension capital we choose to back projects that contribute to a sustainable world."

James Lidgate, Director of Housing at Legal & General Capital, said: "This latest acquisition supports our vision of investing in long term sustainable urban schemes that support wider urban regeneration to transform and reshape Britain's landscape, bringing jobs and housing back into the centre of cities and better utilising our existing infrastructure. When complete, Mustard Wharf will provide well-connected, high-quality housing which is essential for supporting the UK's economic position and driving future growth."