The Prudential is to become the first UK institutional investor to enter the UK rented housing market in recent times, paving the way for the growth of a corporate-backed letting market at a time of acute housing shortage.
According to a report in The Financial Times, the Prudential Property Investment Management division – part of M&G, the Pru’s asset management arm – is close to a deal to buy more than 500 homes from the Berkeley Group, the UK’s largest housebuilder by market value, which the insurer will use to seed a vast rented property portfolio.
The report goes on to say: The move comes as many of the UK’s largest pension and insurance companies are considering a move into the residential property market.
“It is a massively important moment for the market if they get the deal done,” said Chris Lacey, a director of residential investment at CBRE, the property consultancy. “All of the large institutions are looking at residential and thinking it is the right time to get into the market.”
Richard Gordon of UKPI said: “This is important news for the residential housing market and comes right on the back of the Government’s budget plans to underwrite mortgage deposits. With the Government and now some of the UK’s largest institutions prepared to invest in the housing market, it demonstrates how important the housing market is to Britain’s economic revival and how property is seen as a secure long term investment.”Read the full Financial Times article here.