Scotland’s Build to Rent industry gathers pace

The nascent Scottish build-to-rent (BTR) sector recently saw two deals that will pave the way for the two biggest schemes in the country to date.

Get Living, the residential investment firm backed by clients of Delancey, Qatari Diar and APG, has purchased a site in Glasgow for its first scheme outside London. It plans to build more than 600 homes for rent with a GDV of around £200m.

In Edinburgh, Moda Living and Apache Capital Partners have announced they will develop a £215m private rented sector (PRS) site after purchasing an existing 46-unit block from Grosvenor Britain & Ireland.

A further 525 rental homes will be built on the five-acre Springside site in blocks of five to eight storeys covering 600,000 sq ft.

The plans will be viewed as a fillip to the Scottish market, which has so far seen very few PRS schemes brought forward because of perceived political instability and punitive government policy, including rent controls.

Get Living hopes to start construction of its Glasgow scheme in the Merchant City district of the city within 18 months, pending detailed planning permission.

Construction will start before the end of the year on Moda Living and Apache Capital’s scheme in Edinburgh, with the first phase set to be completed by 2020 and the entire scheme by 2023.

“As an investor, developer and operator, we are here for the long term and aim to knit ourselves into the city’s fabric, taking on the mantle and ethos of Grosvenor,” said Moda’s managing director Tony Brooks.

The deal marks the end of Grosvenor’s development interest north of border and it will now close its Edinburgh office.

Scotland’s first major PRS scheme was announced in December 2014 with Edinburgh council’s development company laying out plans for a 438-unit development at India Quay in the Fountainbridge area. The scheme was submitted for planning last July.

Moda and Apache also announced a major BTR scheme in Scotland last year, buying the former Strathclyde Police headquarters in Glasgow for a 400-apartment development.

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