L&G teams up with PGGM for UK PRS

The UK insurer and Dutch pension fund manager will initially invest £600 million into building purpose built private rental housing across the UK.

Legal & General Capital, the direct investment management arm of UK insurer Legal & General, has launched a £600 million (€791 million; $859 million) UK residential joint venture partnership with Dutch pension manager PGGM.

The pair will invest in the development of purpose-built private rental housing across the UK. Legal & General will commit an initial £300 million, while PGGM will provide the other £300 million.

“The UK rental market, compared to the US and Europe, is dysfunctional, with ever increasing rents and increasingly poor accommodation. For this to change, and renting to become more affordable, we need to invest in the 'new', and build new homes to rent, and just stop inflating the prices of old housing stock,” commented Paul Stanworth, managing director of Legal & General Capital.

UK PRS development has attracted significant interest among a number of real estate investment management houses given the country's lack of housing supply versus demand. Firms including Delancey with APG Asset Management; Realstar Group; Patrizia Immobilien, the German-based real estate investment company; LaSalle Investment Management; and Apache Capital Partners, the London and Gulf-based private real estate investment management firm, are trying to create their own PRS asset bases.

Mathieu Elshout, investment director real estate at PGGM commented:  “Investing in residential is the perfect long term real estate investment, as it provides a relatively high income security and diversification relative to other sectors. This partnership allows us to build and own good quality residential assets in the UK at scale, with a high degree of control over our investments.”

PGGM has already invested in the private rental sector for over 40 years, and it currently owns close to £3 billion of residential investment exposure through its strategic partnerships in the Netherlands and the US.