Apache Capital and Moda Living jointly acquire Edinburgh site for rented homes in Scotland
Historic property firm Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has sold off the residential element of its major Edinburgh city centre land holding for £215m, in what is one of the largest housing deals in Scotland since the financial crisis.
A joint venture between developer Moda Living and investment manager Apache Capital has bought the site in Fountainbridge, and will develop 525 homes for rent and manage 46 existing private rented homes. Grosvenor rarely sells its holdings, and this is its first sale since the death of its former chairman, the sixth Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor, in August.
The deal is a major boost for Edinburgh, where the population is due to grow up to 30pc by 2035 and where housing is already in short supply.
The site, which Grosvenor bought in 2006, already comprises 250 completed homes, including homes for sale, affordable housing for the elderly, serviced apartments, and two student residences providing accommodation for more than 600 students. Grosvenor was granted planning permission for the next phase of homes in January last year, but decided to sell the site.
The scheme will be Moda and Apache’s second in Scotland, after they purchased the former Strathclyde Police headquarters in Glasgow in October last year.
The joint venture also owns rented housing schemes in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham, and has the largest pipeline of any rental developer, with a more than £1.1bn portfolio of sites in city centres across the UK.
Kevin Stewart, minister for local government and housing, said: “This government has made clear its commitment to boosting housing supply across all tenures and we recognise the significant contribution that can be made by a high-quality purpose-built private rented sector.”
Meanwhile, figures released yesterday showed that construction output rose modestly in February, as civil engineering growth helped to offset a slowdown in housebuilding.
The IHS Markit purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.5 last month, up from 52.2 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
Civil engineering replaced housebuilding as the main growth driver, as residential construction rose at its slowest pace in six months.