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EcoWorld bags £400m funding for build-to-rent schemes

EcoWorld London has agreed a £400m funding package for the development of more than 1,000 build-to-rent (BTR) properties in London.

The developer said it had struck a deal with an unnamed “substantial” North American pension fund and Invesco Real Estate for two sites – one in Kew, west London, and another in Barking in the east of the capital.

Both sites are currently under construction and due to complete in 2020, with the contracts for funding expected to be finalised in October.

The Kew development is for the first phase of housing around Brentford FC’s stadium project.

EcoWorld London is currently working on the scheme with Buckingham Group next to the club’s new ground.

It was revealed this week that the project, which is interlinked to the stadium development, had been delayed from a December 2019 completion date to a summer 2020 finish.

The Brentford FC deal was agreed by Willmott Dixon’s residential development arm Be Living prior to Malaysian giant EcoWorld International buying a 70 per cent stake in the firm and renaming it EcoWorld London.

The acquisition saw the two firms commit to develop 12 sites across the capital with a gross development value of £2.5bn.

EcoWorld London chief executive Heng Leong Cheong said: “This deal highlights the immense opportunities in this emerging sector and represents an important new engine of growth for EcoWorld London and the UK, despite the potential challenges of the current pre-Brexit market.

“There is undeniably a significant shortage of quality homes in Greater London, in particular homes catered specifically for the rental demographic.”

Mr Leong Cheong added that the firm would look to invest further in the BTR market.

“We are committed to investing more resources into this market and create great places for people to live, whether you are an owner-occupier or tenant,” he said.

“Our build-to-rent business model allows us to scale up quickly and to work on multiple projects concurrently, which means we can provide a substantial volume and variety of much-needed homes in Greater London sooner.”

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