Nottingham-based residential property firm SDL Group has formed a joint venture with asset manager ICG-Longbow aimed at delivering more than 2,000 homes over the next three years.
Branded ‘Wise Living’, the initiative will acquire sites and develop detached and semi-detached housing for rent in the UK, aiming to “challenge existing standards in the private rental sector, create new communities and ultimately drive improved living standards for its tenants”.
Working with local authorities, land agents and house builders across the Midlands initially, Wise Living is already in advanced talks to acquire a number of sites with work expected to begin in the coming months.
Negotiations are at an advanced stage to buy a four-acre brownfield site in Mansfield with plans in progress to develop 75 predominantly two and three-bedroom family homes.
The launch of Wise Living comes on the back of the government’s pledge to tackle the UK housing crisis by building more new homes.
Martin Wheeler Co-Head of ICG-Longbow said: “Against the backdrop of a chronic housing shortage in the UK, BTR is increasingly being recognized as an essential part of the solution and we are delighted to be able to support the construction of new, good quality, and accessibly priced rental homes.
“More than 50% of demand for rental accommodation in the UK is from families who want or need more space than is available in a typical metropolitan apartment development. Wise Living will deliver for this underserved demographic; building homes in locations with good access to transport links and amenities.
“Funding residential developments is a core strategy of ICG-Longbow and since 2014 we have backed the construction of more than 1,805 residential units in the UK, including 660 which have been sold to third party private rental operators. Our direct entry into the BTR sector through Wise Living is a natural extension to our investment activities and one that is underpinned by strong demand from investors, who are attracted to the potential to create a highly predictable long term income stream.”
Andy Deller, Group Strategy Director at SDL Group, said: “In the coming years, BTR will prove crucial in meeting housing demand. Wise Living aims to deliver thousands of quality homes to people who either do not want to, or cannot afford to, buy. The rental market is changing rapidly, with a growing proportion of tenants in their 30s, 40s and older, who will now have the chance to move away from older rental houses into brand new, professionally-managed properties, all built to a high standard.
“SDL Group has more than five years’ proven expertise in assisting the delivery of Build-to-Rent schemes, whilst it manages over 35,000 homes and is uniquely placed to provide all services seamlessly from under one roof – from site identification and development through to letting and maintaining the properties.
“We look forward to supporting ICG-Longbow as the new venture begins its work to identify sites and build these much-needed new homes.”