Legal & General launches new Suburban Build to Rent division

Legal & General Capital (LGC) has announced the launch of its new Suburban Build to Rent (SBTR) business to develop large-scale, single family rental communities in suburban locations across the UK.

The new housing arm will partner with UK housebuilders and undertake a direct delivery programme to bring forward over 1,000 homes each year from 2024.

As an investment market which is forecast to grow to in excess of £200bn, Legal & General aims to be the UK’s first choice SBTR platform creating much needed, high quality family homes in areas connected to schools, transport infrastructure and key amenities. 

In 2019 the operational UK BTR market was valued at c £10bn; as a Group, Legal & General has a strong track record within the sector. 

Having launched its Build to Rent Fund in 2017, it now has over 5,000 homes in operation or development across the UK’s major towns and cities.

The SBTR sector, however, has lacked the same concentration of institutional investment, with less than one per cent of the market having benefitted from patient capital investment compared to around six per cent for the urban sector.

Recognising this untapped potential and the societal need for high quality family homes to rent, Legal & General is establishing a new product to meet the increasing demand.

Legal & General’s SBTR schemes will be community focused and service-led, offering resident’s choice, security of tenure and flexibility. 

This level of offering is largely unavailable in the wider residential market, particularly outside the UK’s urban centres.

Legal & General’s SBTR developments will offer a mixture of houses and low density apartments, while being designed to reflect new ways of living, post-COVID, such as incorporating home offices and more extensive outdoor space. 

David Reid, managing director, Legal & General Suburban Build to Rent, says: “Build to Rent as a sector has consistently demonstrated value to investors, delivering robust and defensive income streams, suitable for patient capital investment.

“It has shown significant resilience throughout the current crisis with strong rental collection and occupancy rates.

“With working practises and demands changing rapidly, this is an appropriate time to broaden Legal & General’s BTR investment, into the suburban single family housing market.

“This is not only about strong investment prospects; it’s about providing high quality rental housing options for the growing number of families across the UK.”