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Countrywide - not just letting agencies but now into Build To Rent too

Countrywide - which has already acquired a string of letting agencies in recent months - continues to demonstrate its emphasis on the private rental sector by announcing details of its Build To Rent activities.

Over the weekend Vista, the residential property fund established by Countrywide, has signed contracts to forward purchase the first phase of Manchester Waters, Trafford from Rowlinson Construction for just over £23m.

The development achieved planning consent last year for 164 Build To Rent apartments and 105 car parking spaces. 

It is Vista’s second largest PRS scheme following the forward purchase of Baltic Village in Liverpool, which exchanged last year. 

Countrywide says the acquisition of this phase of Manchester Waters is in line with Vista’s investment strategy of delivery of high-quality, serviced, modern build-to-rent apartments in leading regional locations with a high demand for new housing.

Chris Taylor, head of private markets at Hermes Investment Management - which is co-investing with Countrywide - says: “The combined strengths and expertise of Hermes Investment Management and Countrywide allows us to deliver extremely attractive UK BTR assets that appeal to both investor’s requirements and accessible living for the local population.”

Graham Bell, managing director at Countrywide, says: “The build-to-rent sector is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. Vista, which brings the best of both Countrywide and Hermes Investment Management together, aims to be in the forefront of this growth by forward funding to acquire assets across the UK.

“As the UK's largest letting and property management company, Countrywide will provide Manchester Waters residents with a professionally managed and customer-focused experience at affordable prices for people living and working in Manchester.”

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