Contact Us

Former Blackstone Head’s Private Equity Firm Backs UK BTR Developer

Platform_'s build-to-rent scheme in Glasgow

U.S. private equity investor Northwood is backing a UK regional build-to-rent developer to build out a trio of schemes, as the variety of firms targeting UK rented residential real estate continues to grow. 

Northwood has formed a joint venture with Platform_ to build an initial three schemes in Sheffield, Glasgow and Cardiff that will comprise a total of 1,039 apartments, Property Week reported. 

Construction has already started on all three projects, which are due to be completed in 2022 and 2023. 

The venture marks Northwood’s debut in the UK BTR sector, which is attracting a growing number of international entrants, all looking to make different returns. Last week, Swedish investor Heimstaden made its debut in the UK market with the forward-funding of a £160M scheme in Birmingham. 

Northwood is relatively unusual among private equity firms in that it runs one open-ended fund in which its clients invest money rather than a series of closed-ended funds like most private equity investors. The business was founded in 2006 by John Kukral, who prior to setting up Northwood ran Blackstone’s real estate business for three years. 

Platform_ has a further development pipeline of 1,500 units that could be incorporated into the joint venture at a future date. 

The BTR development sector continues to forge ahead in spite of the wider uncertainty in the UK economy created by the coronavirus pandemic. Research from the British Property Federation and Savills said that 6,937 new build-to-rent homes received planning consent in the first three months of 2021, the highest number of any quarter on record. There are a total of 188,456 BTR homes now complete, under construction or in planning across the UK. This is a 21% increase over the course of the past 12 months. The strength of the sector has helped it continue to attract capital.

Eastdil and Franklin Bay advised on the creation of the JV.