Britain’s biggest private landlord banks on buying refurbs.

Britain’s biggest private landlord banks on buying refurbs.

11:10 AM, 28th October 2010, About 13 years ago

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Britain’s largest private residential landlord is celebrating that the firm’s portfolio of 13,000 properties is outperforming the market.

The £1.6 billion portfolio is owned by Northeast based Grainger Properties.

Grainger made a decision to invest in low value homes that needed refurbishment, mostly in London and the South East, discounting the view that new build was a best buy.

The decision seems to have paid-off as new build prices seem to have fared worst in the recession due to buying price over-inflation.

Grainger posts its full year results next month, but chief executive Andrew Cunningham said: “You can’t be blind to the fact that broadly prices in London and the South East have remained pretty strong.”

Mr Cunningham also indicated the margin at which the company sells its houses and flats will be up on last year’s margin of 37.6%, but refused to give more details before the results announcement.

£1 billion fund to buy homes to rent

The company announced earlier in the year that £49.4 million of residential sales were completed in the four months to the end of July and total sales topped £128 million in the last 10 months.

About £26.4 million of business sits with solicitors.

Grainger also has an acquisition pipeline of £67.6 million and forecasts a slowdown in the market.

The company has also indicated a willingness to look at joint ventures that may interest institutional investors.

However, the government is trying to push these investors in to funding new build homes to kick-start the housing market.

Financial services giant Aviva is considering a £1 billion fund to purchase new build homes.

Aviva is one of several institutional investors approached by the government funded Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to replace buy to let landlords pushed out of the market in the credit crisis.

The first project is already off the ground as one homebuilder has agreed to rent out 550 new properties at several sites across the south.

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