Avanton launches new GBP500m land acquisition fund

Avanton has announced plans to invest up to GBP500 million in strategic land acquisitions over the next three years, as part of a major expansion into the capital’s lucrative build-to-rent sector.

Already an established operator in the residential build-to-sell market, the announcement underlines Avanton’s intention to expand into the rapidly-growing build-to-rent (BTR) sector in the capital where there remains a significant lack of high quality, purpose built, rental stock in relation to demand.
 
The new land fund will target the acquisition of sites across Inner London in locations such as Islington, Southwark, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Hammersmith, Lambeth, Camden and Brent with a view to delivering up to 5,000 build-to-rent units between 2021 and 2023. Avanton will focus on acquiring sites with land values of GBP20 million to GBP100 million, providing for between 300 to 1,000 units per BTR development.
 
Working both alone as well as through Joint Venture partnerships, Avanton will focus its future acquisitions on either consented sites, sites without planning permission or those with existing commercial consents offering the potential for a change of use to residential.
 
Avanton has already begun to assemble a significant portfolio of build-to-rent pipeline projects. In Richmond Avanton and partner ICG have a newly consented GBP250 million (GDV) urban-village development on the 4.45 acre Homebase site off Manor Road. The development will deliver 453 high quality apartments complete with a pocket-park, retail, community and office uses, and landscaping, designed by award winning architectural practice Assael Architecture.
 
Likewise on Old Kent Road in Southwark, Avanton has consent for the GBP730 million (GDV) Ruby Triangle project which will provide 1,414 new homes, of which circa 50% will be build-to-rent, with the Farrells designed scheme providing residential towers, between 17 to 48 storeys in height, designed around a central park and complete with sports hall, gymnasium, retail units, workshops and studios. Avanton has a third pipeline site in the London Borough of Brent which will allow for 500 build-to-rent units.
 
In addition, Avanton has just handed over to project partner A2Dominion a collection of 169 completed build-to-rent units at the group’s Coda development in Battersea, the BTR apartments located two striking buildings, six and 11 storeys respectively, designed by award winning practice Patel Taylor, with the architecture inspired by Battersea’s Victorian mansion blocks.
 
Some of the best BTR units in London, the apartments handed over to A2Dominion have been finished to an exacting high quality specification, located in brand new, efficient to manage blocks, with the service charges set at below GBP4 per sq ft.
 
Over the past 12 months, Avanton has made a series of new senior appointments across sales, marketing, investment analyst and transactions, bringing high-profile experience to the business across BTR, residential private sale, commercial and other property classes.
 
Omer Weinberger, CEO of Avanton says: “The only viable solution to London’s housing crisis and the shortage of supply of new homes in the capital is delivering multiple tenure schemes and expanding BTR, intermediate and social housing provision. This is why Avanton is currently undergoing a three-year expansion into the build-to-rent and mixed-tenure sectors. To implement this we have set aside GBP500 million and are seeking attractive land opportunities to grow our BTR development pipeline yet further.”
 
David Ronson, Sales & Marketing Director of Avanton, says: “We are seeking to expand our build-to-rent, mixed tenure and private sale portfolios because despite the obvious challenges the property market has been extremely resilient and recovered rapidly last year after the lockdown. This year the market sentiment has been cautiously upbeat as the UK has taken a global lead in the vaccine rollout and we see great opportunity at this moment in the property cycle.” 

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