12 Aug 2021

A retail bank has announced the launch of a £500m project to fund the construction of up to 2,500 suburban, purpose-built family rental homes across the North and Midlands.

Gatehouse Bank already has two large Build To Rent schemes and this new project will see it become one of the UK’s largest providers of purpose built single-family rental homes. Its announcement comes on the back of Lloyds Bank Group saying it, too, wants to become a major residential landlord.

Paul Stockwell, Gatehouse Bank’s chief commercial officer, says: “We are delighted to have found an experienced, institutional partner in [equity platform] TREP as we launch our third major private rental investment initiative. 

“This joint venture will see significant capital being deployed to build and develop the next generation of Build To rent housing, concentrating on high quality family homes in suburban locations.”

The venture has already secured an initial seed portfolio of four sites, acquired in partnership with Countryside Properties, which specialises in mixed tenure and regeneration projects. 

The launch properties comprise of 321 single family homes, located in established residential communities in the Midlands, Greater Manchester and Merseyside regions of the UK. The partnership arrangements intend to deliver additional projects in the Midlands and North in the near future.

James Piper, a partner at TREP, adds: “With this initiative, we aim to be a valued partner not only to homebuilders but also the communities and families that will call these properties home.”

In June Lloyds Banking Group announced that it was to buy its first property as it seeks to become a private landlord. 

Under a plan called Project Regeneration, Lloyds – Britain’s largest retail bank – will buy and let out a range of new-build and existing properties across the UK. 

The bank will manage its portfolio through a subsidiary called Citra Living, which was set up this year, according to filings at Companies House. 

Lloyds, which also operates the UK’s biggest mortgage lender – the Halifax – is reported to be keen to use its low funding costs, brand recognition and knowledge of the housing market to become a major operator in the private landlord market. 

It is thought that becoming a landlord could allow Lloyds to sell other products to tenants, such as insurance or loans for deposits.

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