Barings buys £53m Manchester build-to-rent asset

MassMutual subsidiary Barings has acquired The Trilogy, a build to rent (BTR) asset in Manchester from Moorfield, on behalf of Moorfield Real Estate Fund III, for £53.5 million in an off-market transaction.

The transaction marks Barings’ latest BTR acquisition as part of its strategy to invest €350 million in residential property over 2021.

“Developed by Moorfield and launched to the letting market in 2019, the award winning scheme(1) offers 232, one, two and three bed apartments, together with a range of onsite amenities, including a gym, 24 hour concierge, underground car parking for 75 vehicles (including electric charging points), extensive bike racks, a communal courtyard garden and a residents’ lounge,” said Barings.

“The pet friendly scheme is located approximately one mile away from Manchester City Centre in Castlefield, in Manchester’s former industrial heart.

“It benefits from easy and fast access to strong transport infrastructure making it ideal for commuters with the Cornbrook Metrolink Station, a major interchange on the Metrolink line, only a short walk away.

“In addition, the scheme is also only four miles from the M60 Manchester Ring Road and nine miles from Manchester Airport. ”

Darren Hutchinson, Head of UK Real Estate Transactions at Barings, said: “This acquisition was a unique opportunity to enter the attractive Manchester BTR market through a proven operational asset.

“Manchester is a market we know well, having previously invested in PBSA and prime office space in the city, and we are confident that the list of major occupiers choosing Manchester as their regional hub will only continue to grow in the months and years ahead, further underpinning the attractiveness of the city for young talent from its universities and thereby creating a deep pool of demand for rental accommodation.”

Ross Netherway, Head of Origination at Moorfield Group, said: “Having designed and developed the scheme specifically for rent in partnership with Glenbrook, we achieved full occupancy shortly after opening in 2019.

“This sale concludes another successful investment for MREF III and closely follows the recent disposal of The Forge in Newcastle.

“Investment in BTR remains a key limb in our wider beds investment strategy, which also includes student, healthcare and senior living.”

Nick Pleydell-Bouverie, Head of Residential Capital Markets at Knight Frank, added: “As one of the first purpose-designed and operational build to rent assets to have traded in the UK market, The Trilogy represents a landmark transaction for the sector.

“The weight of both domestic and overseas capital seeking to invest in high-quality product continues to accelerate.

“This demand is being driven by the sector’s recent strong operational performance, which has taken place against a backdrop of Covid-19 and multiple national lockdowns.”

Barings was advised by CMS. Moorfield Group was advised by Knight Frank and Shoosmiths.

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Mark McSherry
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