Developer Urban Splash is planning to grow its private rented portfolio, after making it through a period when it had to concentrate on survival and the reduction in company debts.
Chief executive Tom Bloxham now plans to more than double the company’s private rented sector portfolio, having finalised recent refinancing deals. Agreements with new funder the Pears Group came alongside a deal to sell £77 million of homes – a 654 flat portfolio in Manchester, Plymouth, Bristol, Bradford and Leeds – to housing association Places for People.
In contrast with other forms of property development and investment, residential property has proven longevity, said Bloxham. “We’re still living in residential apartments that were built hundreds of years ago,” he told Property Week. “We believe it’s a market that’s here to stay, it’s a market that we know very well and it’s a market we are looking for opportunities to build another 1,000 plus units.” Despite the changes the company has been forced to make, it still operates a portfolio of more than 800 private rented homes.
With London already overpriced, Bloxham says the time is right to turn attentions to regional markets. His company has long experience in Birmingham, and in Sheffield, where it took on the refurbishment of the Park Hill flats, a substantial development of a listed block of former council flats that overlook Sheffield centre.