BAE pension fund invests £70m in rent-to-buy

Sarah Davidson

April 20, 2016

Rentplus-UK, the rent-to-buy homes provider, has secured up to £70m to help it deliver 580 homes out of its initial target to build 5,000 new affordable homes by 2020.

BAE Systems Pension Funds Investment Management has approved an initial £35m private placing of an inflation linked bond for the Plymouth-based company with the possibility of an additional £35m commitment.

Rentplus, which currently has a national pipeline of 8,500 homes, said it will use this funding to “help tackle the UK’s housing affordability crisis”.

John Gildersleeve, chairman of Rentplus, said: “As is widely recognised, the current affordable residential property market model in this country is not working.

“Home ownership is overwhelmingly the first choice across the UK, however 48% of households in the 25-34 age group currently live in the private rented sector compared to 21% in 2003-04.

“The primary reason is lack of affordability, the driver of which is lack of affordable housing supply.

“We must therefore fix the model and innovative solutions such as Rentplus’s intermediate rent-to-buy are absolutely crucial in a climate where rents are increasing and deposits required to buy continue to climb – reports earlier this year put the average deposit to buy a home at more than £80,000.”

David Cryer, portfolio manager at BAE Pension Fund, said: “We are delighted to provide the first tranche of institutional funding for Rentplus.

“Rentplus offers a great solution for local authorities and housing associations to provide an affordable housing product – we have a strong commitment to both sectors and therefore this is an excellent fit for the pension fund.

“Having worked closely with Rentplus to create a funding strategy to suit both sides, we look forward to continuing our excellent relationship.”

Gildersleeve added that Rentplus is in “numerous positive conversations with other entities with the aim of securing further investment to ensure we can deliver more affordable homes across the country”.

Rentplus provides aspirant home owners with privately funded intermediate affordable rent-to-buy housing, with real prospects to achieve ownership benefitting from affordable rents (80% of open market rent) and a 10% gifted deposit from Rentplus.

The Rentplus model provides its tenants with the option to purchase their home after five, 10, 15 and 20 years of their tenancy period, with all homes sold after 20 years.

Rentplus aims to replace all homes that are sold in order to maintain the level of affordable housing in the area at the required level.

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