Legal & General wants more institutional investment in housing as Build to Rent boosts profits

Legal & General may no longer have an estate agency arm but its latest full-year results show its reach in housing continues to prosper.

The insurer’s investment division, Legal & General Capital (LGC), saw its housing assets increase in value from £392m in 2016 to £588m last year, while it generated £369m from transactions on its developments.

This comprises work in the Build to Rent (BTR) sector as well as from funding developments in the later living market and the building of modular homes.

LGC said it now has investment capability of £1.3bn in the BTR sector, and has already acquired seven sites including in Brighton, where it plans to deliver the city’s first ever BTR scheme.

Its results show it now has a pipeline of almost 2,000 BTR homes, with the aim to have 6,000 in planning, development or operation by the end of next year.

Overall, LGC’s revenue for 2017 was up 28% to £1.45bn, while operating profits increased from £121m in 2016 to £124m last year.

Kerrigan Procter, chief executive of LGC, said: “Looking at the societal challenges we face — specifically around the provision of affordable, quality housing that meets the needs of all demographics — it is time for business to embrace inclusive capitalism.

“As it stands we are going to be judged very poorly by future generations given we know the issues, we have the means to address these and we have chosen to do nothing.

“It is amazing that housing is not an institutional asset class in the UK. Investment-led growth drives productivity and increases real wages.

“Legal & General is using our long-term patient capital to reverse this market failure and deliver housing across all tenures, creating vibrant and healthy communities where people will want to live over the long term.

“To do this, we are challenging public perceptions of new homes by delivering a product that surpasses buildings of the past in terms of quality, efficiency and comfort, while ensuring the homes are carefully integrated into the community, providing much enhanced public realm, facilities and infrastructure.”

Legal & General previously owned an estate agency franchising arm, Xperience, that it sold to Martin & Co in 2014.

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2 Comments

  1. JMK

    ” To do this, we are challenging public perceptions of new homes by delivering a product that surpasses buildings of the past ”

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jul/15/prefab-sprout-off-the-peg-homes-bid-to-ease-uk-housing-crisis

    From the Guardian article….  ” New national space standards, introduced in 2011, demand that a one-bed flat for one person should be a minimum 37 sq m. The new modular homes will pitch housing associations desperate to build homes – and meet government targets for 200,000 new homes a year – against planners desperate to avoid a “race to the bottom” on home sizes. ”

    So I would assume that any Council with Selective Licensing will ban these ‘homes’?

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  2. Mark Connelly

    L&G are reversing market failure. That will be government failure as opposed to market.

    Meanwhile, be truthful, the returns are just too attractive to ignore so you want a bit of the residential rental market that you turned your institutional noses up at for years. Everything else is PR spin

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