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London BTR sector thrives with new entrants

29.03.2017

Canadian developer Oxford Properties has announced plans to strengthen its portfolio of investments in the Build to Rent (BTR) residential sector, with a focus on London.

In an interview with Property Week Oxford’s executive vice president and senior managing director for Europe Paul Brundage explained

“Residential represents the smallest asset class globally for Oxford, and that doesn’t feel right. I’d like to see that increase globally to a meaningful amount, greater than 10 per cent. It will represent a significant part of our London business for the next phase of evolution.”

The company’s move follows a trend of major international organisations investing in BTR. Brundage emphasised the opportunity in the UK, reflecting the potent combination of market forces and political will.

“The macro thesis for residential is very strong. At the moment, we’ve got government policy lining up with market demand lining up with investors that want to do it. There is a significant need for housing in the UK and there is a lack of existing stock. We are going to build it and become long-term owners of the asset class.”

With plans to invest over £1 billion here, Oxford is determined to address this opportunity. According to Brundage “the residential sector is the largest investable asset class in the world and is something we had not spent any time trying to do in the UK.”

Coming on top of the CBRE investor confidence survey (see above), Oxford Properties’ plans underline the robustness of the London residential market, and in particular both the medium and long term prospects for tenant demand.

 

By Jaimie Beers

Jaimie Beers is Managing Director of Madley Property.