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Private landlord giant Grainger applauds excellent start to the year

Grainger boosted by soaring rental income as Britain’s biggest private landlord readies £300m record spend for build-to-rent properties

  • Grainger reported 6.1% like-for-like rental growth for the four months to January
  • The FTSE 250 company has a £1.8bn pipeline to build c.7,000 extra rental homes
  • Demand for UK rental properties is increasing amidst a surge in mortgage costs 

Residential developer Grainger has hailed a bumper start to the financial year on the back of elevated demand for privately rented housing in the UK.

The Newcastle-based company, which is Britain’s biggest private landlord, recorded like-for-like rental growth of 6.1 per cent for the four months ending January, nearly double the rate for the equivalent period last year.

Its private rented sector property portfolio achieved record occupancy levels of 98.7 per cent, 1.7 percentage points higher than in February 2022, as customer enquiries nearing unprecedented levels.

Strong results: Grainger reported like-for-like rental growth of 6.1 per cent for the four months ending January, nearly double the rate for the equivalent period last year

Coming off its best-ever annual performance, the group said it expects to maintain momentum in 2023.

It is investing a record £300million to deliver 1,640 build-to-rent homes across seven English and Welsh cities.

This forms part of a £1.8billion pipeline to provide approximately 7,000 extra rental houses, of which more than 3,600 are fully funded, to its existing portfolio of 10,000 properties.

Under a joint venture partnership struck with Transport for London in 2019, the firm is set to develop more than 3,000 homes across eight sites in the capital, some of them at existing tube stations.

Grainger’s chief executive Helen Gordon said the tie-up ‘continues to progress exceptionally well,’ with four schemes to build around 1,240 new homes in Southall, Nine Elms, Arnos Grove, and Montford Place in Kennington having received full planning consent.

Demand for rental properties across the UK is booming amid a surge in mortgage costs caused by the Bank of England’s successive interest rate hikes and a disastrous mini-budget from former Prime Minister Liz Truss.

Simultaneously, the supply of new houses for rent is being suppressed by tight planning laws and more landlords exiting the market, following the introduction of new regulations and tax changes in recent years.

Landlords can no longer deduct costs like mortgage interest from their tax bill and must pay a 3 per cent stamp duty surcharge when they acquire a second residential home.

These factors have contributed to driving up average rents to an eye-watering £1,172 per month, and almost £2,000 per month in London, according to the latest figures from insurance agency HomeLet.

‘Based on our continuing strong rental growth, underpinned by demand for private rented housing, and our significant progress in investing in and delivering new rental homes, we are confident of continuing our strong operational performance,’ the firm remarked.

Founded just before the First World War, Grainger offers American-style housing complexes where tenants can enjoy other services ranging from concierges to gyms, gardens and cinema rooms.

Grainger shares were 2.1 per cent higher at 262.8p on Wednesday morning, although they have still fallen by 13 per cent over the past 12 months.


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