New entrant to private rented sector in London

A new entrant to the London property market, In-place, is promising to deliver well-managed new homes to London’s private rented sector. And with strong credentials, the company is set to deliver high standard new apartments in London Underground zones 2 and 3, at the same time helping to grow institutional interest in the sector.
Giles Clarke is the man leading In-place. Clarke spent the last few years at major London landlords the Grosvenor Estate, and Crown Estate; two examples of organisations that manage their properties responsibly, with an eye on long term value rather than short term profit. He is backed by unnamed investors who will give him backing to buy two or three development projects each year.
Clarke says there is currently a gap in the market, between investors who see the sense in getting into the residential rented market in London, and developers seeking an opportunity to profit from building.
“What seems to be missing are businesses or people that understand how the two can be properly joined,” Clarke told Property Week in an interview, “so you have a single approach to creating high-quality residential investment stock – not as a developer, not as an investor, but as a business that can join the two things and do both at the same time.”
In-place will look for sites with between 100 and 200 units, aiming to develop them in joint venture, or acting as a funder to help unlock projects held by hard-up development and building companies. Such properties will rent typically for £3-400 per week for a one bed flat, or £4-600 for a two bed.
Clarke has said he will not be looking to do projects right now in the central area of London. Here, he says, most developers are currently exploiting overseas investor demand by selling individual units off-plan in Asia, and with that option, In-place will not get a look-in.
In-place has promised two or three deals during 2014, to get the ball rolling. It will be looking to grow a long term portfolio, as well as offering medium term investment assets to the market, that are well managed and provide long term rented homes for the UK’s mass of urban workers.

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