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Family Values: Apache Bets On £1.6B Single-Family BTR


Apache Capital has launched the UK's first branded, purpose-built single-family build-to-rent platform.

Present Made will develop, own and operate an initial pipeline of 3,000 suburban homes in three locations. The development programme, based on modular construction, is valued at £1.6B.

The first three sites will be in the fast-growing Oxford-Cambridge crescent, where pressure caused by high house prices is intense.

Apache is promising an ESG-led development agenda to include biophilic designs, amenities and services intended to help promote mental and physical health and wellbeing, and where living sustainably is second nature.

UK  BTR is only beginning to step outside its comfort zone of single young professionals.

Blocks aimed at families rather than single young professionals or couples are now being envisaged by Quintain Living for its Wembley Park sites, but single-family build-to-rent of the kind Apache are targeting is still in its infancy in the UK. Blackstone and Starwood have been big investors in the sector in the U.S.

Apache’s decision to create a wholly owned platform is in contrast with that of the other big name to have risked capital in this early stage sector. Legal & General opted to partner with housebuilders.

The move into single-family completes Apache’s residential pathway, which already includes investment in senior living, purpose-built student housing and standard build-to-rent, including Goldman Sachs' first UK BTR development loan, providing £118M for a 42-storey tower at Broad Street, Birmingham, developed by Apache with Moda Living.

Present Made is Apache Capital's second UK build-to-rent platform after its £2B multifamily joint venture with developer-operator Moda Living, which is delivering more than 6,000 apartments for rent in the UK's largest cities and is backed by major investors including NFU Mutual and Harrison Street.

“Four years in the making, Present Made from the outset has been designed around our future residents' needs and the growing importance of ESG considerations to both our residents and investors alike,” Apache Capital managing director Richard Jackson said.

Single-family rental housing is drawing increasing attention from major investors.

"The disruption caused by Covid-19 has encouraged investors to explore new emerging asset classes that are structurally supported and less vulnerable to technologically driven trends. As such, we are seeing clear and growing investor interest in the UK single-family housing market,” Eastdil Secured’s London managing director Sue-Lin Heng said.

To make them suitable for renters of all ages, Present Made communities will have a soft play area for children as well as on-site dining, working and exercise facilities. 

Present Made: How the new single-family BTR units could look

The same family-oriented challenge is now being tentatively taken up by developers of standard multifamily BTR.

Quintain Living’s first venture into family-oriented BTR is now debuting at its seven-building Canada Gardens scheme, Wembley.

Co-designed with John Lewis & Partners and Samsung, on-site facilities include allotments and a greenhouse, work-from-home sheds on the roof, a pet park, a children’s playroom and pirate ship, spaces for barbecues, a rooftop terrace with entertainment spaces, a library and a clubhouse. 

“We think we can grow the family side of the business,” Quintain Living chief executive James Saunders said. “We don’t have a precise target figure in mind, and we know that the two- [and] three-bed flats could also be occupied by sharers and working-from-homers who want an extra room as a workspace. But we are aware of strong demand for family accommodation and we’re tapping into it at Canada Gardens.”

“I guess our primary market will always be urban young professionals, but our instinct is that there are also more interesting target audiences out there, and the family market is one of them.”