Grainger to sell German arm as demand for UK rental flats soars

Kasmira Jefford
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Helen Gordon, who will succeed Andrew Cunningham as chief executive later this year
GRAINGER said yesterday it has hired bankers at Lazard to sell its German residential business, as it seeks to expand its presence in the UK private rented sector (PRS).

The UK’s largest residential landlord has been one of the most active players in the UK PRS market. It now has 3,400 PRS units in its portfolio after buying 929 tenanted flats in the year-to-date.

In a trading update for the 10 months to 31 July, Grainger said it has seen strong demand for its properties, with rental increases averaging six per cent on a like-for-like basis on new lets and 2.3 per cent on renewals.

The company said it has also had “an exceptional market response” to Abbeville Apartments, its first scheme built specifically for renting in Barking. All 100 flats, launched on 18 June, are already fully let.

Grainger’s reversionary business – where it buys regulated tenancies at a discount before selling them at a profit when tenants leave – sold vacant properties at around 8.3 per cent above September 2014.