Watkin Jones forward funds York and Bristol student projects

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
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Build to rent and student accommodation specialist Watkin Jones has forward sold two development projects paving the way for work to start in York and Bristol.

Planned Unity Street project in Bristol
Planned Unity Street project in Bristol

The firm said it was now starting to see institutional investors recover their appetite for student and build to rent projects.

The latest deal with Brookfield-owned Student Roost will release £49m to build the two projects together totalling 659 beds for delivery in 2022.

Richard Simpson, CEO of Watkin Jones, said: “We have also started to see growing evidence that institutional investors are beginning to recover their appetite for forward funding developments in both BtR and PBSA

“We are in negotiation on further potential sales from both our BtR and PBSA pipelines and we continue to achieve margins in line with previously guided levels.”

He said that the development pipeline of BtR and PBSA sites continued to build in the second half of 2020, with nine development sites secured and a further three expected to be secured imminently. 

These development sites are well located in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, York, Guildford and Leicester.

Watkin Jones also secured planning permissions for 296 private rental apartments and 992 student beds across five sites.

In an upbeat full year trading statement Simpson said after a strong second half recovery Watkin Jones expected to deliver operating profit of £48m – £50m from revenue of £350m.

Over the year non-underlying operational costs include £6m relating to Covid-19 and £15m in expected cladding replacement costs.

 

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