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Birmingham, Manchester, London On Macquarie's £1B BTR Hit List

The Broad Street tower

Six months of flirtation has ended in romance: Macquarie, the Australian banking group, has launched its own UK build-to-rent platform, Goodstone Living.

The new business will be led by Martin Bellinger and Daryl Flay, BTR veterans, and partners in Essential Land.

Schemes in London, Birmingham and Manchester are 'coming soon' the business pledged, amidst reports it plans to raise £1B in debt and equity, Bloomberg reported.

The move comes after several months in which Macquarie has tip-toed into the UK private rental market.

The prospect of a deal with Bellinger and Flay was trailed as far back as February 2021. Whilst they worked on the details, Macquarie helped pump £200M into McCarthy & Stone’s new BTR venture, via Brigid Investments, a joint venture with John Laing.

There is a powerful next generation feel about the Macquarie offer. The new venture will buy into some of the yoga-chat wellbeing vibe that has inspired co-living. The schemes will “foster shared experiences” their newly launched website announced. “We are all about building community in a secure, healthy urban environment,” Goodstone said, adding it will “focus on locations that maximise open and green space, offer spacious living arrangements, and enable smarter, more flexible amenities for everyone to enjoy.”

On the financial side it said: “Our strategy is dedicated to making it easier for global capital to gain exposure to a defensive asset class with significant structural tailwinds. We are always looking for new investment opportunities in exciting locations for our next generation rental communities including developments, portfolio acquisitions and corporate M&A."

Macquarie is the latest in a long line of global investors to take a bet on UK BTRColliers data suggests £3.5B was invested in BTR in 2020, more than half the £6.1B targeted at UK residential property. At a time when many property sectors began to falter, Colliers said residential yields held up at 4.4%.

“UK residential property is a solid investment option, particularly in the burgeoning build-to-rent sector as there is a perfect storm of a shortage of housing, and a huge affordability gap, especially for those who want to work and live in London,” Colliers Head of Residential Andrew White said.