News – John Lewis and Abrdn to build rental homes; L&G offsite housing boost | Fortnight ahead
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Build-to-rent. Retailer John Lewis has teamed up with investment manager Abrdn in a £500mn multi-decade deal to build 1,000 rental homes, the first stage of a plan that will make it a substantial residential landlord, Financial Times (link, paywall). The partnership, which said in June that it wanted to get into housebuilding, plans to build the properties in Bromley and West Ealing in London, and in Reading. The group will develop and manage the homes, using its property assets, in the first tranche of a 10,000-home plan over the next decade. The company earlier said that it would use two Waitrose supermarkets and a former collection depot for redevelopment. The deal includes a commitment to affordable housing and sustainability, John Lewis said, with the aim of providing a “stable income” for the partnership as it seeks to diversify from retail.
Modern methods of construction. Legal & General Modular Homes has teamed up with Hampshire housing association Vivid to deliver over 1,000 affordable modular homes over the next five years, ConstructionEnquirer.com (link). The partnership aims to deliver up to 300 net zero carbon homes pa in the South East and the JV aims to deliver its first homes in 2023. Eventually, L&G aims to deliver several thousand homes a year as part of the industry drive to deliver 75,000 homes a year via MMC. Meanwhile, the news website reports that Essex-based HA Swan is shutting down its in-house loss-making modular housing factories (link). Swan was one of the first HAs to open its own offsite manufacturing cross-laminated timber factory in 2017. Three years later it opened a second factory for light gauge steel modular housing with the help of £4.5m from the Government’s Get Britain Building fund. It was hoped the factories would produce up to 850 homes by 2024. But the business has struggled to make a profit.
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