One name expected to be seen in the UK private rented sector soon is German investor Patrizia. The company has a long history of residential investment in Germany, and recently started investing in the UK, initially in commercial properties.
The company was set up in 1994 and since listing on the German stock exchange, has grown substantially in the last decade. It is Germany’s third largest housebuilder, and invests substantial amounts of long term funds for other institutional investors from across Germany.
Today, the balance of Patrizia’s German portfolio is around half commercial, half residential – a model that is likely to be followed in the UK. According to a research paper put out by the company: “Residential real estate as an own asset class acts as a risk diversifier enhancing at the same time the portfolio return.”
“We have a business that was originally set up investing in residential and diversified into commercial,” said the company’s Andrew Pratt, speaking at the MIPIM UK event in mid October. Growth has led to Patrizia expanding its horizons, looking to the UK and the Nordic countries. “There was a desire from a number of our investors to diversify into a number of other countries in Europe. We’ve bought over £1 billion of assets since we’ve come into the UK.”
“We came into the UK in the early part of 2013 and started acquiring properties,” explained Pratt. “It’s quite interesting because not many people know of our business here.”
The company’s Anonio Marin-Bataller said no deals have yet been done to acquire UK residential property, but he indicated that several transactions are already in progress.