This is why German investor ECE has bought a build-to-rent portfolio in Leodis Square in Leeds

A German investor has bought a residential build to rent scheme in the heart of Leeds.

Leodis Square in Leeds

The UK developer and property manager Dandara has agreed the sale of a 2,063 build-to-rent (BTR) portfolio to German-headquartered ECE.

The deal comprises three schemes including Aston Place in Birmingham, Chapel Wharf in Manchester and Leodis Square in Leeds.

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ECE’s acquisition for the 324-unit Aston Place development in Birmingham has already completed. The deal will extend to Chapel Wharf and Leodis Square when construction work on both schemes is completed later this year.

Dandara will continue to manage the developments following the acquisition under its Dandara Living brand. Its management portfolio consists of more than 4,000 units across the UK.

The developer announced plans for its Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester developments in 2016 after securing backing from the Homes and Communities Agency and HSBC.

Dan Tynan, founder and chairman of the Dandara Group, said: “ECE made the perfect buyer for us. Dandara see the huge growth opportunity that BTR represents in the UK, in particular, the regional markets.

“We have a track record of using our extensive in-house expertise to bring forward high quality BTR schemes across the UK. Our current pipeline includes 2,500 new units, 50 per cent of which have already secured planning consent. As investor appetite in the UK’s BTR market continues to grow, our 25 years of experience in development throughout the country sets us apart from many other major developers.

“Additionally we have 2,000 BTR units under offer and are planning to expand our development footprint through both direct land acquisitions and partnerships – particularly in prime regional city centres as well as London and the South East.”

ECE’s portfolio includes retail and commercial assets across Germany. The deal marks the investor’s first acquisition in the build-to-rent market. ECE plans to further expand its activities in this sector across other European countries.

It entered the British residential real estate market last year with its first project in London, a joint venture with Art-Invest Real Estate and Dukelease. The JV is developing a £190 million scheme featuring 88 apartments and 15 affordable housing units alongside 3,500 m² of retail space on Cleveland Street in London’s West End.

Henrie W. Kötter, Chief Investment Officer of ECE, said: “Our many years of experience across property markets makes us perfectly equipped to own and operate build-to-rent developments. As is the case across the commercial and retail markets, expertise, industry knowledge, and an uncompromising customer focus are critical when it comes to the residential sector and these qualities are deeply rooted in our DNA here at ECE.”

Dandara was advised by Rothschild and Knight Frank. JLL acted as consultant for ECE.