25 Aug 2021

Internal job advert reveals that recently launched Citra Living is targeting 50,000 homes by 2030

Lloyds Bank has plans to become a 50,000-home build to rent landlord via deals with UK housebuilders, according to details revealed in an internal job advert.

The revelation follows on from the announcement last month by the high street bank it was setting up Citra Living, a build to rent landlord, with an initial target to acquire 800 homes over the next two years.

The bank at the time declined to reveal its longer-term plans for the business.

However, an internal job advert, seen by the Financial Times, says the business has set a “strategic challenge” for Citra of owning 10,000 homes by 2025, and raising this to 50,000 by 2030.

If achieved, the growth would make Lloyds by far the UK’s largest private landlord, although it would remain dwarfed by the UK’s biggest social landlords. The biggest private landlord in the UK at the moment is Grainger, which has a stock of just over 9,000 homes and a pipeline to build a further 8,851.

The job advert also said that Citra would be open to “M&A opportunities and/or strategic alliances” to help it reach the target, according to the FT.

When Lloyds announced the formation of Citra, it said the business will not itself build homes, but will instead pre-purchase houses from new-build developments, working ultimately in a series of “strategic partnerships” with “leading housebuilders”.

At the start of this month it announced the first of these – a strategic partnership with the UK’s biggest housebuilder, Barratt Homes, “to gradually develop incremental housing stock for the rental market”. Lloyds said the pair would work together on a “sit by site” basis, and but declined to set a target for the number of homes the partnership is designed to produce.

The venture by Lloyds is the latest example of institutional investment in the build to rent sector, which has grown from a standing start a decade ago to provide more than 10,000 new build homes a year in the last two years, according to the British Property Federation.

Asked about the targets revealed in the internal job advert, a Lloyds spokeswoman said: “As highlighted at launch, Citra Living will initially start small, with a focus on buying and renting good quality newly built properties. This will be achieved by working alongside leading housebuilders to address the increasing demand for rental properties, the aim is to gradually provide incremental stock to the UK rental market over the coming years.”

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