Tag Archives: HUB

M&G reveals details of tenant services at Acton PRS project

Long term investor M&G, part of the Prudential group, has revealed more details about the PRS development in Acton where it is backing a build to rent development of 152 flats. M&G has forward funded a development by HUB, with a £43.5m development, previously reported here.

There will be a full-time concierge on hand, space to store bicycles, and long term contracts giving tenants the reassurance they can stay for as long as they want. And there will be a party or function room, that residents can hire if they are having a party, or the family gathering gets too big to be accommodated in their flat.

Victoria Square, Acton, where 152 private rented apartments are being developed

Victoria Square, Acton, where 152 private rented apartments are being developed

“These will be homes for normal working people, not oligarchs,” Alex Greaves of M&G told the Guardian recently. “In a typical buy-to-let the tenant knows the letting agent, but not the owner of the block, and doesn’t know who to call if things go wrong. Our properties will have a single manager, with on-site service. We will have economies of scale that individual buy-to-let investors don’t have. If we can keep the tenants happy we hope they will stay longer and we get lower voids.”

The Guardian also notes that the growth of purpose-designed, build-to-let blocks should also reduce the quantity of new homes grabbed for purchase by small scale, buy-to-let landlords. This should have a positive knock-on effect, reducing price inflation in the housing sales market, and giving first time buyers a greater chance.

With its upcoming Crossrail train connections, Acton is a development hotspot for private rented sector developers. PRS specialist Essential Living recently purchased the Perfume Factory nearby, which has potential for conversion into around 500 flats. Essential Living is expecting to start work on the project in 2016.

M&G makes £43.5m private rented forward funding commitment

Investor M&G Real Estate has confirmed it has forward funded a £43.5 million development of flats for the private rented market, at a site in west London. It has backed developer HUB which will create 152 private rental homes in Acton.

The project will be held within a strategic fund being developed by M&G which kicked off in 2013 with the purchase of a portfolio of properties from Berkeley Homes. The challenge of finding suitable large scale private rental projects to invest in has led M&G to put funds into what might, in other property sectors, be considered a speculative development. However, such is the demand for private rented homes, there is minimal risk on the project, which is likely to let fully at market rents the moment it is completed.

“With this deal now complete, we are looking for more opportunities to fund mid-market developments via our fully scalable UK residential strategy,” said M&G’s Alex Greaves. “Hopefully deals like this will encourage more institutional investment into the sector and bring forward much needed housing stock.”  It is understood the Acton project took around nine months to complete, so it is more than likely M&G has other investments in its project pipeline.

“For far too long, renting has been seen as a stepping stone to home ownership and, at times, a backward step,” said Greaves. “These 152 built-for-purpose rental homes are a clear statement that renting can be the tenure of choice for an upwardly mobile workforce who require the flexibility of renting, but who also want high quality service and support, to feel abut to lay down roots and settle for longer should they wish.”

The Victoria Square scheme will include a mix of one, two and three bed apartments in a scheme designed by Newground Architects, which is part of a wider regeneration scheme being supported by Ealing council.