Another big American build-to-rent (BTR) operator is opening its first site in the UK this year as the sector gathers momentum, in many cases offering larger letting agents significant opportunities to pick up huge portfolios in one go.
The 367-unit Cortland Cassiobury in Watford is scheduled to open in the spring and the US firm has three more projects in the development pipeline while actively looking for more sites in the UK and Ireland.
Cortland Cassiobury consists of five buildings ranging from four to 24 stories, where 119 of the one, two and three-bedroom homes will be let as affordable housing units.
New residents will get to use a state-of-the-art fitness centre, media room, business centre, residents’ lounge with private dining area, an outdoor patio with grilling stations and fireplaces, dog park and concierge.
‘Single-family homes’ as BTR is known in the US are commonplace but the UK is rapidly going the same way; investors ploughed £4.1 billion into the sector last year, betting that purpose-built flats would provide reliable returns, according to global real estate advisor CBRE.
Cortland – a real estate investment, development, and management company, “focused on delivering resident-centric, hospitality-driven apartment living experiences” – manages and is invested in more than 200 apartment communities made up of more than 70,000 homes in the States.
It has a management and development platform in the UK and has just appointed Jason Kern as president of investment management, a new role created to support the firm’s continued growth across the business including in the UK and Europe. Kern will have a hand in the UK growth strategy.
Big agency players in the UK BTR market include Savills and both KFH and Foxtons in London.