Essential Living agrees loan for 249 build-to-rent homes

Bricks building housing construction

Developer and operator of homes for rent, Essential Living, has agreed a £60m loan facility for Britain’s first modular build to rent scheme in Greenwich.

The four-year club deal, funded equally by Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, will finance the development of 23-storey Creekside Wharf, designed by Assael Architecture. The 249-homes will include a block designed exclusively for families.

 A quarter of the apartments will be discounted to accommodate low-income households designated by the local council. Discount market rent (DMR) homes will be priced from 55 per cent of market rent and blended in with the market-rented apartments. This will be the first housing development to include DMR apartments, which are now set to be rolled out more widely under plans announced by the mayor of London.

Essential Living managing director Scott Hammond says: “The market is continuing to grow more comfortable with the emerging build to rent business model, and we are delighted to have finalised the debt position to bring forward one of our landmark developments. Against a backdrop of global uncertainty, we believe the defensive nature of residential investment will become increasingly attractive to investors and lenders.”

RBS head of PRS Chiara Zuccon says: “We’re committed to supporting the UK’s housing agenda and building homes that are purpose built for rent has an important role to play in increasing and diversifying the country’s housing supply. As part of our £1bn allocation to supporting build to rent, we have already part-funded Vantage Point in Islington, a project that has redefined standards in London’s private rented sector. We believe Creekside Wharf, with its provision of affordable housing and its innovative use of modular construction, will be another standout scheme that will greatly enhance the local community and provide much needed rental housing at a range of price-points.”