Monday, 23 January 2017

L&Q plans to deliver 25,000 PRS homes

L&Q has announced plans to deliver 25,000 homes for the private rented sector (PRS).

L&Q said it will aim to deliver the figure - representing a quarter of the organisation’s ambition to create 100,000 new homes - working in partnership with key partners and stakeholders, making it ‘one of the UK’s largest providers in the sector.’

The housing association currently has a PRS portfolio of 1,436 properties, with a short-term pipeline of 2,163 homes in development or planning. 

The bulk of the new homes will be in London, alongside some schemes in Milton Keynes, Cambridge and other areas. For 2017, significant sites include Royal Wharf, a joint venture with Ballymore, where L&Q will launch over 200 PRS units. 

At Barking Riverside, one of Europe’s largest housing projects, the association will launch the first 100 PRS units in early 2017, with around 3,000 PRS units included in the overall 10,800 home masterplan.

Quadrant Construction, a subsidiary of the group, will build most of the schemes, alongside a number of ‘high profile’ joint ventures (jvs). 

L&Q launched a new PRS subsidiary and brand in 2015, called ‘L&Q PRS’. It transferred £250m of assets into the subsidiary company which was created off-balance sheet of L&Q Housing Trust. It became the sole borrower of the first £175m tranche of UK government-guaranteed private rented sector (PRS) bond funding in November 2016.

The association completed its takeover of East Thames Group at the end of 2016 to become a 90,000-home group. That process included a £2.6bn refinancing that better-aligns its treasury profile to its development plans, including matching shorter-dated debt to sales activity and longer-term finance to rent products.

L&Q is also in talks to buy strategic land company Gallagher Estates, which carries on the bulk of its activity outside of the housing association’s south-east heartland. 

Diane Hart, group director for PRS at L&Q, said their ambition is to deliver many thousands more PRS units ‘to make us one of the UK’s largest providers in the sector’. 

‘We have already established a significant portfolio in a relatively short time, including large scale new build schemes, jvs and converted street properties.’

In 2016, L&Q completed Thurston Point, its largest dedicated PRS development to date, of 238 homes, which are now let. Subsequently, it launched 100 PRS homes at Stadium Place, the regeneration of Walthamstow Dog Stadium, and over 200 properties at The City Mills, its landmark regeneration project for Haggerston.

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