Ballymore, one of the Irish developers at the centre of the “Celtic tiger” property boom and bust, is seeking an investor to back it with £150m for its first foray into the burgeoning build-to-rent sector.
The company, along with its Singaporean development partner Oxley Holdings, is looking for an investment partner to build 272 rented homes as part of its Royal Wharf regeneration project in east London. Property agency CBRE is handling the scheme.
Dublin-based Ballymore, one of Ireland’s largest builders, was founded by Sean Mulryan, who was one of the country’s best-known developers during the boom in the early 2000s. The company built a number of large housing developments but when the property market crashed, many of its loans were transferred to Ireland’s bad bank Nama. It has since repaid the money it borrowed and in recent years has staged something of a comeback, building a number of properties in both Ireland and the UK.
Its move into the build-to-rent sector follows a number of major developers and institutional investors looking to capitalise on the demand for well-managed rented homes, especially in large cities. UK investors including Legal & General and M&G have recently moved into the sector, and developers such as Quintain, which is backed by US private equity firm Lone Star, are building thousands of flats for rent.