Malaysian developer Eco World International’s 70%-owned UK unit, EcoWorld London has entered into an agreement with Invesco Real Estate to forward fund the development of over 1,000 new UK build-to-rent (BTR) homes worth £400 mln (€440 mln).
Under the deal, EcoWorld London will complete construction of the projects in Kew and Barking, near London, and will then undertake the long-term management of the assets on their behalf.
Development work is already underway with construction due to complete in stages from 2020 onwards.
'Kew and Barking are great locations for renters in terms of affordability, connectivity and local amenities, and we have identified many more such sites within EcoWorld London’s existing portfolio where we can deliver our build-to-rent projects,' commented EcoWorld London's CEO Cheong Heng Leong.
Eco World International's executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin sees 'great potential' in the UK BTR market.
'In the future we will seek to do more deals of this kind and we have already received expressions of interest from other funds, particularly from Asia, keen to pursue potential investments into the UK build-to-rent sector,' he said.
'As a business we are perfectly placed to develop and manage these schemes to the high quality that investors and residents expect from us and through EcoWorld London we have the best in class build-to-rent capabilities – this significant investment by a US-based global pension fund in two of our projects is testament to that,' he said.
The developer and Invesco have now entered a period of exclusivity, with the final contractual details scheduled for conclusion at the end of October.