Grainger has posted a jump in rents as the residential landlord presses ahead with its expansion into the UK's booming private rental sector.
Grainger has two main divisions – its portfolio of private rental homes and its regulated tenancy business where it buys properties subject to regulated rents at a discount before eventually selling them at the market rate to make a profit.
The group said in the four months to 31 January, rental increases for owned and managed private rental properties averaged at 7.8 per cent on new lets and 3.6 per cent on renewals. That compared with 6.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively the same time last year.
When including refurbishments, new lets increased on average by 10.0 per cent while regulated tenancy assets, where biennial rent reviews have been completed in the period, rose by an average of 6.3 per cent, down from 9.6 per cent last time.
The company said sales had an encouraging start to the year after generating £39m of revenue from sales of vacant properties, at an average of 4.2 per cent above the September 2015 year end vacant possession value. It also has another £83m of sales in the pipeline.
Grainger has exited its German business and sold off its equity release division in a bid to simplify the business and focus on the UK's growing population of renters.
Last month, chief executive Helen Gordon set out plans to invest over £850m in private rental over the next three to five years through both its own business and GRIP, its joint venture with Dutch pension fund manager APG.
It has so far invested £125m into private rental since the start of the year, and acquired a 600-home build to rent scheme in Salford Quays, called Clippers Quay, for £100m earlier this month.