Vistry sells 1,750 homes to Blackstone and Regis in £580m deal

The housebuilder Vistry has agreed to sell 1,750 new homes to the private equity group Blackstone and its partner Regis for rent in a £580m deal.

Vistry said the portfolio, concentrated in the south-east of England and spanning 36 developments, would be managed by the private rented sector housing provider Leaf Living, which is backed by funds managed by Blackstone and Regis.

The deal comes at a time when a delay in UK interest rate cuts has tempered hopes of a stronger recovery in the housing market.

Vistry sounded more optimistic than its sector peers in recent times on the back of resilient demand for its affordable homes, mainly from housing associations and the private rented sector.

The first completions under the agreement with Blackstone and Regis are expected by the end of June, with most homes expected to be finished within the next two years, Vistry said on Tuesday.

Greg Fitzgerald, Vistry’s chief executive, said: “By working in partnership with organisations like Leaf Living we can maximise the number of high-quality homes we deliver every year.

“This agreement supports our differentiated business model, with the certainty provided by the pre-selling of homes enabling us to accelerate our build programmes, guarantee work for our supply chain, reduce sales and build costs and create vibrant new communities.”

Last month, Vistry raised its annual homebuilding target by about 3% to more than 18,000 units after rivals, including Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon, warned of subdued market conditions this year.

Blackstone has been investing in UK residential property and acquired 2,915 homes for £819m from Vistry in November.

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James Seppala, the head of European real estate at Blackstone, said: “Institutional private capital can play an important role in providing high-quality housing stock across the UK, particularly in the private rented sector which is significantly undersupplied today.

“Partnerships such as these can meaningfully accelerate the delivery of new homes and help alleviate structural undersupply across the sector.”

The Guardian

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