The UK’s largest estate agent chain, Countrywide, and Hermes Investment Management have launched a residential property fund.
Directed towards institutional investors, the new Vista fund provides access to the private rental sector.
Vista will focus on high-quality, modern, purpose-built residential property in areas with strong core economies.
Estate Agent Launches Property Investment Fund
Greater London investments will be capped to account for just a third of the overall portfolio.
Vista is starting out with £95m of commitments from cornerstone investors and has already invested in Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham with a combined value of £13m.
Hermes Chief Executive, Chris Taylor, says: “The UK private rented sector has delivered attractive, risk adjusted returns over recent years and we believe that it will continue to perform in a market that is facing a chronic mismatch between demand and supply.
“This demand is further underpinned by demographic and lifestyle trends, and coupled with a shift towards greater urbanisation, long-term institutional capital invested in the private rented sector can play a key role in delivering much needed new housing supply.”
He continues: “We also believe an opportunity exists to establish best practices in the delivery and management of purpose-built private rental sector affordable rent throughout the UK.
“We are determined to deliver an extremely attractive UK private rental sector investment solution to investors and tenants alike.”1
Countrywide’s Finance Director, Graham Bell, adds: “As the UK’s largest property service group with over 1,300 branches, the size and scale of Countrywide means it is uniquely placed to play a leading role in building a large residential investment vehicle.
“Countrywide’s proprietary data and on-the-ground knowledge, generated from over 12,000 employees working in their local property markets, allows us to identify specific areas, which combine strong economic growth potential and attractive yields.
“Our integrated letting and property management platform, with over 65,000 properties let and managed, allows us to drive operating performance and minimise gross-to-net erosion.”
Bell concludes: “Finally, both our Lambert Smith Hampton division and our large land and new homes team give us access to an extensive network of relationships across the UK, which allows us to source attractive investment opportunities.”1