Asian capital backs launch of Savills IM build-to-rent Strategy

25 Aug 2022
  • The strategy seeks to raise £200m (US$241m) for UK build-to-rent residential platform
  • New strategy aims to deliver high quality institutional-grade housing stock in an underserved UK market
  • The Land Managers secured as cornerstone investor


Savills Investment Management (Savills IM), the international real estate investment manager, has launched a UK build-to-rent strategy. The new vehicle will seek to develop and forward fund both single and multifamily residential assets with a focus on regeneration areas and master-planned schemes that display strong characteristics such as favourable renter demographics, evident supply/demand imbalance, and access to growing employment hubs. The platform aims to deliver high quality, future-proof, and professionally managed housing stock in the currently underserved UK market.

The Land Managers (TLM), the real estate investment division of the JL Family Office (JLFO), is the vehicle’s cornerstone investor. JLFO manages the private investments of Asia Pacific real estate veteran John Lim. This is TLM’s second partnership with Savills IM; in October 2021, it also invested in Savills IM’s retail park strategy to capitalise on the strong income-producing characteristics of the UK retail parks sector.

The strategy will leverage the research and broking capabilities of the residential team at Savills IM’s parent company Savills plc, the dominant UK residential player.

This launch coincides with Savills IM’s acquisition of UK residential sector specialist, Pitmore.  As one of the UK’s most experienced residential advisors, being involved in the sector since 2012, the senior partners of Vittorio Davico, Tommy Adeane, Peter Wyatt and Craig Mulholland bring significant development, transactional and asset management experience to SavillsIM.

The team also brings a particularly successful track record in single family housing where they will continue to advise on some of the largest housing development sites in the UK, with potential GDV of over £3bn. The combination allows Savills IM to advise on and create a range of products across the risk return spectrum.

Alex Jeffrey, Chief Executive of Savills IM, comments: “This acquisition and launch of the build to rent strategy is in line with our strategy to deepen specialist operational expertise in chosen sectors. Residential is a key part of this based on our conviction that institutions will benefit from increasing exposure to the sector over the long-term. We have great faith in the capability of the Pitmore team and we welcome them to Savills IM. We are delighted to be working again with TLM.”

Andy Lim, Group CEO of JLFO and Founder of TLM, adds: “TLM’s strategy is to increase our exposure to defensive assets that benefit from long-term structural supply and demand dynamics, and the build-to-rent residential sector in the UK is one such sector that we are very optimistic about.

“We are glad to have found a trusted partner in Savills IM, with a proven depth and breadth of expertise in the UK real estate sector, to diversify our portfolio outside of Asia Pacific, and are confident that it will be able to deliver strong performance amidst rental growth rise, and burgeoning demand for quality rental properties in the UK.”

Michael J. Flynn, Co-Head Client Capital at Savills IM underlined the importance of long-standing capital partnerships to the firm: “We have now undertaken 4 funds with TLM (and shareholders) as seed investors over the last 8 years. We have seen that when we deliver value in markets which are difficult to access directly, we continue to see these relationships grow and both parties prosper”.

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