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Ground-breaking Aberdeen development

PRS scheme to be ‘model’ for rest of UK

StoneywoodA build to let scheme in Aberdeen will be the first of its kind in Scotland, and may create a new model for residential developments in Britain.

LaSalle Investment Management last week paid developer Dandara just under £60 million for Forbes Place, a 292-flat and townhouse scheme that will be targeted at the oil and gas sector. Big employers such as BP and Aker Solutions have their offices nearby.

La Salle is making its first move into the private rented sector (PRS) on behalf of a large pension fund client who was looking for an opportunity to purchase a purpose-built-and-maintained development in a major business location where there is already significant demand.

La Salle residential fund manager Andrew Stanford says: “We are targeting assets of 80-plus units in regional towns and cities across the UK identified by our proprietary model as having strong economic fundamentals.

“Large-scale investment by pension funds has an important role to play in improving the quality of housing stock, as well as the choice and service for tenant customers in the private rented sector. LaSalle has substantial client funds available for investment in PRS. ”

The development is in the historic Stoneywood area and the units will feature balconies for every home, underground parking, video entry, lifts, wi-fi and secure delivery facilities for tenant’s parcels and refrigerated storage for groceries.

Burness Paull acted for Dandara. Richard Rennie, partner said: “We were delighted to support Dandara on this high value and ground breaking deal.

“A development of this size, designed specifically for the PRS sector, is solid evidence of the increasing appetite of institutional investors for purpose built rental developments in major business locations.

“It remains to be seen what the general body of institutional investors determine to be the minimum viable size for such schemes and at what level the institutional appetite for this market will be satisfied.

“However, it seems clear that investment in PRS schemes will have an important role to play in setting the standard for housing stock in the private rented sector – perhaps pushing up quality and consistency overall.”

McClure Naismith advised LaSalle.  Steve Spray, fund manager at the firm, said: “LaSalle has substantial client funds available for investment in high quality residential developments such as Forbes Place.”

Robert Binning, real estate partner with McClure Naismith, added: “PRS has the potential to make a major difference to the housing shortage by encouraging investors and developers to see the social housing sector as an exciting new opportunity.”

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