Wavensmere releases £60m housing portfolio to market

How Friar Gate Goods Yard will look

Wavensmere Homes has appointed ACRE Capital Real Estate’s operational living team to take a new portfolio of 262 single-family houses located across city centres in the Midlands to market for offers in excess of £60m.

Designed by Glancy Nicholls Architects, Wavensmere Homes’ bespoke house type has been purpose-designed for institutional ownership in the rental market. Some 50% of the portfolio – which is being launched to the market as a forward commitment opportunity – will be located at the housebuilder’s £75m Friar Gate Goods Yard redevelopment in Derby city centre, which received planning committee approval in April 2024.

With a target EPC rating of A, the two- and three-bedroom houses will be available for occupation between 2026-7.

Mark Wilson, partner at Acre Capital Real Estate, said: “This portfolio of over 260 new city centre houses presents a unique opportunity within the UK residential market. Wavensmere Homes has accrued a remarkable reputation for urban regeneration and delivering major housing-led schemes within inner cities and towns. These well-amenitised locations have the added benefit of the range of on-site communal facilities Wavensmere delivers for residents, such as co-working offices, screening rooms, community gardens, and fitness and play spaces.

“This significant and highly desirable housing portfolio will be of interest to institutional funds, particularly those specialising in Build to Rent. We are inviting offers in excess of £60m, which reflects an attractive net initial yield of 5.00%. Wavensmere’s proven track record for above average capital growth in burgeoning regeneration hot spots makes this an exceptionally exciting investment proposition.”

James Dickens, managing director of Wavensmere Homes, said: “Constructing two- and three-storey houses in city locations is in direct contrast to the prevalence of mid to high-rise apartment blocks that have adorned urban skylines over the past 25 years. But not everybody wants to live in a flat. There is huge demand for eco-focused single-family housing that’s close to major centres of employment, retail, leisure, healthcare, and a wide range of education provision.

“Working with ACRE Living’s specialist team, we are excited about the global appeal this portfolio sale could generate. The eventual deal could enable us to accelerate our construction programmes, boost local supply chains, and acquire additional regeneration land ahead of our current business plan projections.”

Wavensmere Homes’ plans for the 11.5-acre Friar Gate Goods Yard site – located off the Uttoxeter New Road in Derby city centre – include the redevelopment of two landmark Grade II listed buildings into over 110,000 sq ft of commercial space, alongside 276 new build homes. Extensive new areas of open space, including play areas and pocket parks will also be installed to help enhance the biodiversity of the site, which has lain derelict since 1972. The Birmingham-headquartered housebuilding firm anticipates receiving formal planning approval from Derby City Council in time to commence work on site this summer.

The company has also recently unveiled detailed plans and computer generated images of the £150m proposals to redevelop Wolverhampton’s Canalside South – a former industrial site benefiting from frontage onto the Wyrley & Essington Canal and the Wolverhampton Branch of the Birmingham Main Line Canal. Over 500 eco-focused homes and a range of commercial amenities are proposed for the 17.5-acre site – one of the largest city centre residential development opportunities in the Midlands.​

Wavensmere Homes is currently building the £106m Belgrave Village development in central Birmingham and the £130m Barrelman’s Point scheme on the Shotley Peninsula in Suffolk. The firm is one of Derby’s most prominent residential developers, with its £175m Nightingale Quarter heralded as one of the finest regeneration and restoration assets in the region. The former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary on London Road – which had laid derelict for a decade – is in the final phase of being transformed into a new community, including over 900 houses and apartments.

The company has also submitted plans for the redevelopment of one of the final plots of vacant land within Derby’s newly revitalised Cathedral Quarter. Some 195 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments are proposed for the Full Street site, within a redesigned finely detailed u-shaped nine-storey red brick building.

Late last year, Wavensmere Homes received the green light from Amber Valley Borough Council for the redevelopment of Milford Mills, which overlooks the River Derwent, located between Belper and Duffield in north Derbyshire. Some 69 new homes will be delivered on the historic site, which is within the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In February 2024, Wavensmere Homes and BBS Capital submitted a full planning application to Cheltenham Borough Council for the redevelopment of the North Place surface car park, located within the town’s Central Conservation Area. 153 houses and apartments are proposed for Arkle Court, which will sensitively enhance the street scene alongside the Grade II* listed St Margaret’s Terrace.

Wavensmere Homes has further projects across middle England in the immediate pipeline, with around 3,500 new homes either under construction or in planning.

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