Developer Moda Living has secured a investment from National Farmers Union Mutual (NFUM) and North American investment house Harrison Street to fund seven new city centre build-to-rent schemes.
The new joint venture between Moda’s backers Apache Capital and Harrison Street, with additional investment from the NFUM, will support Moda’s plans to more than 7,000 rental apartments.
A spokesperson called it “one of the most significant deals ever completed in the build-to-rent sector and marks the first time the NFUM has invested in build-to-rent”.
Moda Living, the Harrogate-based build-to-rent developer part of family-run Caddick Group, has a £2 billion pipeline of homes for rent with buildings set to include communal lounges, games rooms, rooftop gardens and even a running track. Renters will benefit from premium level service, long leases and a wealth of inclusive features designed to boost wellbeing and cut the hassle normally associated with renting.
The seven developments included within today’s announcement include The Lexington in Liverpool, Broad Street in Birmingham, Springside in Edinburgh, Holland Park in Glasgow, New York Square in SOYO, Leeds as well as two sites in London, which will be invested in over the next 20 months as they are brought forward for construction. Angel Gardens in NOMA, Manchester, which opens next year, is not included in the platform.
New data shows that build-to-rent development is soaring, with the regions outpacing London. According to Q3 research from trade body the British Property Federation, around 132,000 build-to-rent homes are finished or underway, up by a quarter year-on-year. During Q3, around 23,000 build-to-rent homes were under construction in the regions, compared to around 18,000 in London
Johnny Caddick, managing director of Moda Living, said: “This is a huge milestone for Moda that will underpin the creation of thousands of new homes for rent, supporting major investment into many of the UK’s major cities.
“This funding announcement underlines the calibre of Moda’s offer and also shows how confidence in build-to-rent continues to grow. We’re delighted that Moda is part of amazing regeneration stories in the centre of Leeds and in prime positions across Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
“Being able to attract long-term, institutional capital is crucial if we are to build more homes. This is a major vote of confidence in build-to-rent and proof positive that Moda is well positioned to continue expanding and look at further acquisitions over the coming year.”
House price growth, demographic shifts and changes in consumer habits have seen renting more than double over the last 15 years. Many investors are looking to increase their exposure to build-to-rent as a defensive, counter-cyclical asset class.
John Dunkerley, Co-Founder and CEO of Apache Capital Partners, said: “These new equity commitments underscore that the UK’s build-to-rent sector is developing into an institutional asset class, attracting long-term global investors. Harrison Street has been investing in and developing student housing assets in the UK since 2015 and we look forward to partnering with them and NFU Mutual as we expand our portfolio, which we will fund and operate with long-term institutional build-to-core investors.”
Rob Mathias, Senior Managing Director at Harrison Street, commented: “We are excited to partner with Apache Capital, a world-class class investor and leader in the premium UK build-to-rent space. The Liverpool BTR market is backed by strong demographics, including a large and growing population of young professionals who are not yet ready to buy a home, and the property itself is situated in a prime location.
“We have been closely watching the UK residential market for some time, and are pleased to bring the experience we have acquired investing in and developing high-quality purpose-built student accommodations across the UK, to this venture. The JV’s pipeline is very strong and we look forward to evaluating these additional attractive properties as we seek to identify new investment avenues for our clients.”
Trowers & Hamlins, JLL and Macfarlanes acted for Apache Capital. Dentons and DLA Piper served as legal counsel to Harrison Street. Gowling and Knight Frank acted for NFU Mutual.