Further progress for property fund as £100m+ of equity commitments confirmed

Stubbs Mews

A property fund has achieved annual investor returns of 9.5% and been boosted by a further £100m+ in new equity commitments.

The unlevered net annual returns were achieved during the year to March 2021, by The Urban Splash Residential Fund – Urban Splash UK Residential.

With increasing demand for rental homes across the country, USUKR also reported strong average occupancy levels of 97% over the past 12 months, 98% at year-end. Citing its “resilient income stream” the fund also recorded like-for-like rental growth over the past three years of circa 2.3% per annum, supplemented this year by a capital uplift of around 1.5%, and a £520,000 increase in revaluation reserves.

USUKR also focused on actively managing its portfolio this year. At the end of the financial year the portfolio comprised a total of 163 homes across five UK cities – Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol and Bradford – a figure which has since increased to 194 homes following new acquisitions.

The fund hopes to soon close on other new deals which will take the portfolio to more than 300 homes in locations including Milton Keynes, Cambridge, the Wirral and Plymouth. It also has first look access, with a right of first refusal, over the current £1.7bn residential development pipeline of Urban Splash Group and House by Urban Splash, including locations such as Stubbs Mews, in Manchester.

Fund manager, Akeel Malik, said: “We are incredibly proud to record another impressive set of results. Three years ago, we were working on our first fundraising round and since then we have continued to attract investment and grow our portfolio. This is particularly encouraging in the context of a challenging macroeconomic and social environment, as a result of the COVID pandemic.

“The fundamental appeal here is great design – our offering gives investors access to an award-winning collection of homes, evenly spread across the country and comprising mixed tenure, be it studio apartments to four-bedroom houses. The investor returns recorded this year are testament to what we are building and we look forward to further diversifying our portfolio as we move into 2022.”

He said that, by working closely with residents, the rent collection rate to year end was 96%, with this figure increasing to 98% in the final quarter of the year: “We know that there will be further challenges ahead as the world gradually adapts to life after COVID, but we are confident that our vertically integrated team will use their extensive experience to incorporate new ways of working and continue to deliver a market leading resident experience.”

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