LGIM Real Assets has exchanged contracts on a Grade A office building in Salford and a Build To Rent (BTR) site in Chelmsford City Centre, as it continues to strengthen and diversify its underlying portfolio. Since its launch in 2006, the UK Property Fund has grown from €118.4m (£100m) to €3.5bn (£3bn) today, with its success underpinned by a blended and high-quality portfolio of assets. This marked the second BTR acquisition for the Fund, the purchase supports its strategy to diversify its holdings into more operational assets, whilst adding to its Alternative exposure.
The BTR site, known as Chelmer Waterside, forms part of a major mixed-use development in Chelmsford, comprising 421 residential apartments, associated landscaping and local retail amenities. The BTR element, which is being developed by Taylor Wimpey in conjunction with Legal & General, comprises 189 studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre. Legal & General has committed €29m (£24.5m) to the acquisition and development of the site which is bounded by the River Chelmer and Springfield lock.
Riverside House, which provides 11,692ft² Grade A office space and was acquired for €7.5m (£6.3m), represents another strong investment for the fund. With a net yield of 4.7%, Riverside House occupies a highly prominent location at the entrance to New Bailey, one of Manchester’s most dynamic new office districts – currently being regenerated by English Cities Fund, a partnership between Legal & General, Muse Developments and Homes England.
Matt Jarvis, Senior Fund Manager, UK Property Fund, at LGIM Real Assets, said: “Using our UK property market forecasts, the fund continues to invest in strong performing assets where we see prospects to drive value. The BTR transaction forms part of our strategic focus to increase our exposure to alternative and operational assets, whilst demonstrating the breadth of our wider fund management platform. As we continue to actively diversify our holdings, Build to Rent and Grade A office space remain preferred subsectors alongside operational hotels, self-storage and student accommodation, giving us real-time access to occupational markets with a robust rental growth story. The Fund continues to look to invest in assets in good locations and with strong property fundamentals. Both Chelmsford and Salford are exemplary of this.”