Presentation by the management team of Watkin Jones – 08/06/2022

Watkin Jones (WJ) develops build-to-rent (BTR) and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) schemes, largely forward-funded by institutional investors, which acquire sites from WJ with the benefit of planning and then pay for the works monthly as development progresses, thus reducing capital tie-up for WJ. The group also provides an accommodation management service through its Fresh Property Group (FPG) business, which manages both WJ and third-party developed assets, and operates a more traditional housebuilding business focused on the North West. The company, which was founded by carpenter Huw Jones in 1791, evolved as a developer before specialising in student accommodation, and was admitted to AIM in 2016.

Panelists: CEO Richard Simpson and CFO Sarah Sergeant

Watch the full presentation below or navigate to the segments and questions that interest you the most.

1. What is a typical profile of your investors? Are they one-off or repeat investors? What is the range of expected annual rate of return from their investments?

2. How do you ensure the investors have the funds to fund the build cost? Do they give you all the cash upfront at the beginning of the build?

3. With regard to cladding and safety issues: you've made two provisions so far, are there likely to be more?

4. There are no issues around your qualifying activities for IHT planning purposes but have you had any tax guidance on the treatment of your investment properties in terms of potential accepted assets? Investment property on the balance sheet is c£95m.

5. How are inflation, rising costs and wage pressures factored into forward sale agreements when typical construction projects usually last a number of years?

6. What are the main technical and cost differences (per sq m) between PBSA and BTR? Why are there differences in margins between the two divisions?

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