New rental homes pledge greater energy efficiency and sustainability

One of the institutions behind Build To Rent in the UK is pledging to have up to 1,000 new rental homes with “sustainability at the front and centre of their design.”

Aviva Investors, the asset management business of insurance giant Aviva, is to build the homes across the South West, South East and Midlands regions. 

It says they will include electric vehicle charging stations, air source heat pumps and all-electric energy efficiency measures – including photovoltaics – instead of gas-powered solutions. 

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The initiative will start with an initial portfolio of approximately £200m, to be followed by what Aviva calls “a pipeline of investments expected to add a further £500m in the coming months.” 

The partnership will acquire and forward-fund homes directly from housebuilders which will then be let primarily to families.These will be managed by existing BTR management firm Packaged Living, which is already developing 4,000 homes for rent across the UK and which will be responsible for acquisitions, delivery and management of the portfolio.

George Fraser-Harding, fund manager at Aviva Investors, says: “The UK has long had a mismatch between demand for homes and the volume supplied to the market, particularly for family housing. 

More than a third of all homes are now occupied by renters and we see a huge opportunity to positively change that market. Our partnership with Packaged Living will focus on provision of homes where the need is greatest, whilst also delivering properties that are fit for the future, combining quality finishes with high energy efficiency, low carbon solutions and lower costs for families living in them. 

“We also expect it to provide our clients’ portfolios with high-quality assets that have strong social and sustainability credentials.”

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