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Legal & General acquires BTR site in Chelmsford’s City Centre

LGIM Real Assets (Legal & General) announces that it has exchanged contracts on a new Build To Rent (BTR) site in Chelmsford City Centre, on behalf of its UK Property Fund (“The Fund”).

Since launch in 2006, the UK Property Fund has grown from £100m to over £3bn today as it continues to see steady capital investment from retail investors. This is the first BTR acquisition for The Fund as it continues to diversify its holdings into more operational assets, whilst adding to its Alternative exposure. This latest acquisition will sit alongside The Funds’ other recent alternative investments in hotels, healthcare and student accommodation.

The BTR site, known as Chelmer Waterside, forms part of a major mixed-use development in Chelmsford which will provide a landmark urban regeneration scheme for the city, comprising 421 residential apartments, associated landscaping and local retail amenities. The BTR element, being developed by Taylor Wimpey in conjunction with Legal & General, comprises 104 studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments in two adjoining Freehold blocks, 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre. The site is bounded by the River Chelmer and Springfield lock, with balconies offering sought-after riverside views.

Legal & General and Taylor Wimpey were advised by Savills and Colliers respectively on this acquisition.

Legal & General has a strong track record in the BTR sector and this purchase marks the eleventh BTR assets across Legal & General’s wider platform.

Matthew Jarvis, Senior Fund Manager, UK Property Fund, at LGIM Real Assets, said: “This acquisition is in line with our strategy for the UK Property Fund to increase our exposure to alternative operational assets, whilst demonstrating the breadth of our wider fund management platform which has enabled us to collaborate with our well established BTR team. As we continue to actively diversify our holdings into more alternative sectors, Build to Rent will remain a preferred subsector alongside operational hotels, self-storage and student accommodation, giving us real time access to occupational markets with a robust rental growth story.

“Chelmsford in particular has strong location dynamics, benefitting from a 40% increase in average prices over the last 10 years, according to the UK HPI. With excellent commuter links to London, it is also set to experience notable population growth, placing further demand on housing.”