Clients of Aberdeen Standard Investments are investing around £41m to acquire Clarendon Quarter, a 324-unit residential scheme near Leeds city centre, from Habitus Leeds.
A spokesman said: " The deal marks the UK’s largest stabilised transaction, for institutional grade, purpose built accommodation and the first in Leeds
"The scheme comprises the former St Michael's School (The Court) and a new build block (The Gardens).
"The development provides studio, one, two and three bedroom units, including 262 apartments designated for key workers, let at a discount market rent.
"This investment is a further endorsement for the city of Leeds, the largest city region economy outside London and the largest contributor to UK GDP in the Northern Powerhouse.
"With a strong economy and significant employers, including the recent announcement to locate Channel’s 4’s HQ in the city, together with its highly skilled population, significant student retention from the many higher education institutions, the fundamentals are very strong for build to rent in Leeds."
Ed Crockett, Head of UK Residential Investment, Aberdeen Standard Investments said: “We’re delighted to complete the purchase of this well designed and well managed scheme in a dynamic and growing market.
"As the first purpose built rental scheme in Leeds it has a strong emphasis on operational design and displays all of the investment characteristics we target – affordability, accessibility and amenity.
"The potential for rising unemployment is undoubtedly a challenge the sector will have to navigate and as a result our strategy has pivoted more towards the affordable end of the BTR market which shows strong risk adjusted performance as well as helping to meet the needs of the wider community. ”
Mike Gorman, Head of CBRE’s Northern Development and Residential team, said; “This is an incredible result in the most uncertain times and demonstrates the resilience of the residential sector.
"CBRE has sold £100m of build-to-rent stock into the Leeds market alone this year, signifying exciting times for the Northern residential market.”
Adam Burney, Partner, Residential Capital Markets at Knight Frank said: “This transaction is a continued endorsement for the BTR sector, which shows outstanding resilience in the current climate, demonstrating the ongoing demand for institutional, residential assets.
"Despite the ongoing market headwinds, occupancy and rent collection remained at high levels at Clarendon Quarter, throughout the acquisition process.”
“The purchase is reflective of the appetite from investors for assets with proven strength of income and social benefits.”
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