Aviva Investors has partnered with Packaged Living to create a Single-Family Rental platform of suburban homes across the UK. The Partnership will acquire and forward fund BtR developments which will help to meet the demand for affordable homes across the UK, including the South West, South East and Midlands, whilst simultaneously offering residents more sustainable and energy-efficient properties that can help support the transition to a lower-carbon world. It expects the Platform to be seeded with an initial allocation of up to 1,000 homes.
In keeping with Aviva Investors’ commitments to achieving net-zero across the entirety of its circa €59.5bn (£50bn) Real Assets platform, properties acquired by the Partnership will have sustainability at the front and centre of their design. This will include the use of electric vehicle charging stations, air-source heat pumps and all-electric solutions (including photovoltaics) for energy requirements instead of gas-powered solutions, whilst the Partnership has also stipulated that homes target an EPC-A rating, to minimise ongoing energy requirements and cost to occupiers. The change is being made three years ahead of government plans to ban gas boilers from new homes.
The Partnership will target an initial portfolio of approximately €238m (£200m), with a pipeline of investments expected to add a further €595.4m (£500m) in the coming months. The Partnership will acquire and forward fund homes directly from housebuilders which will then be let to families, offering a flexible and affordable solution to the UK’s housing shortage. Packaged Living, which is already developing 4,000 homes for rent across the UK, will be responsible for acquisitions, delivery and management of the portfolio.
George Fraser-Harding, Fund Manager at Aviva Investors, said: “The UK has long had a mismatch between demand for homes and the volume supplied to the market, particularly for family housing. More than a third of all homes are now occupied by renters and we see a huge opportunity to positively change that market. Our partnership with Packaged Living will focus on the provision of homes where the need is greatest, whilst also delivering properties that are fit for the future, combining quality finishes with high energy efficiency, low carbon solutions and lower costs for families living in them. We also expect it to provide our clients’ portfolios with high-quality assets that have strong social and sustainability credentials.”
Jonathon Ivory, Managing Director of Packaged Living, commented: “The Packaged Living management team have been at the forefront of the BtR sector since its inception, having acquired, funded, developed and operated over 6,000 homes with a GDV exceeding €1.9bn (£1.6bn). Single Family Rental (SFR) is the next chapter in the evolution of the BtR story, and we are excited to be responsible for proving the concept, this time with our new partners at Aviva Investors. SFR enjoys the same compelling risk-adjusted income returns as multifamily housing (MFH) but benefits from more efficient operating expenses, resulting from longer leases / lower churn, less common area maintenance and the absence of expensive amenity spaces. With lower running costs, rents can be more affordable and thus landlords are able to capture a larger share of the local market.”