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Second huge Build To Rent deal in two days - now Grainger commits £850m

The UK’s new Build To Rent initiative, where institutions fund and manage purpose-built rental accommodation, has received its second big investment in two days.

Many see Build To Rent as a government-supported initiative to try to raise standards in the private lettings market - even at the cost of buy to let investors.

Grainger plc, the UK's largest listed residential landlord, says it is going to spend some £850m on Build To Rent between now and 2020. 

"It is clear that swift and decisive action is required to capitalise on the compelling PRS market opportunity and to enable Grainger to realise its potential of being the UK's leading private landlord" according to Helen Gordon, Grainger’s new chief executive.

The company’s trading statement to the City this morning appears to herald a restructuring of Grainger to ensure it can quickly get a share of the growing Build To Rent market, also known as PRS.

The announcement today says the firm will “re-allocate development team resources to deliver new PRS stock” and “refocus the acquisitions team to improve access and conversion of PRS opportunities”.

It has already divested itself of Retirement Solutions, an equity release arm of Grainger, to free resources and effort for Build To Rent.

The statement goes on:

As we look out to 2020, our PRS-led strategic targets are:

  • invest over £850m into PRS assets to drive rental income growth;
  • net rents and income to more than cover overheads, expenses and financing costs;
  • net rental income to exceed profit from sales;
  • dividend will increase, reflecting the greater proportion of rental income.

Last weekend, Gordon revealed that Grainger’s Build To Rent offer would include tenancies from six months to three years in duration.

Only yesterday Legal & General Capital - another institution wanting a share of Build To Rent in Britain - said it would spend £600m on some 3,000 rental units.

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