The newly-launched business, Wates Residential, will look for housing investment and sales-led development across the UK.
Wates said it aims to build upon its contractor relationships with social landlords, while also expanding its investment portfolio and increasing sales activity in the private housing market through the Wates Residential brand.
Set against a backdrop of evolving markets, the latest announcement follows the separation of the group’s new-build housing division and its social housing maintenance business, which will retain the Wates Living Space brand.
Jo Jamieson, managing director of Wates Residential, said: “Our new business strategy will enable us to build our relationship with our core social landlord client base, while also unlocking new and innovative development opportunities, to which we will bring our extensive place-making expertise.
Earlier this year Willmott Dixon broke with its tradition for sticking with public housing to launch Willmott Residential to spearhead a move into private housing development for the first time, while Kier restructured its housing contracting, partnership and private housing activities under a single residential brand to pave the way for joint venture development projects with housing associations and investors.
Wates Residential’s current partnership housing pipeline includes City of Cardiff Council’s flagship Housing Partnership Programme, under which 1,500 new homes will be developed over ten years.
Existing sales-led developments include Erith Park in Kent and Butler’s Crescent in Dudley, which is being delivered in partnership with Dudley Council and the Homes and Communities Agency.
The strategic shift comes as the family-owned Wates Group approaches it 120th year in the housing sector. The restructure will see Wates Residential form part of Wates Residential Developments Group alongside the business’ land investment and planning arm, Wates Developments.
David Brocklebank, group managing director, Residential Developments Group, said: “Bringing Wates Residential together with Wates Developments allows us to combine our strong capabilities across the growing residential sector.
“Notably we can offer land investment and scheme promotion, specialist planning delivery and residential land sales, plus our developments to include joint venture partnerships in both private and public sectors.
He added: “We are also operating across the UK now, with a great variety of clients and partners, and I am very much looking forward to how we can continue to grow and build on our solid performance and reputable name.”