Prupim buys £105m of private rental homes from Berkeley

Kasmira Jefford
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BRITAIN’S biggest insurer Prudential yesterday agreed to buy hundreds of privately rented homes in London and the south east, becoming the latest institutional investor to tap into the demand for rental homes.

Property Investment Management (Prupim), the insurer’s real estate fund arm, has struck a deal to take on a 534-house portfolio from Berkeley Group, valuing the properties at around £105.4m.

Chancellor George Osborne is keen to encourage institutions to become landlords, which had been a dominant trend in the early 20th century before onerous rent controls were imposed in 1954.

In March’s Budget, Osborne set aside £1bn in funding for homes to be built for the purpose of renting to private individuals.

Prupim chief executive Alex Jeffrey, said the sector is “gaining in appeal” and that returns from the sector had historically outpaced commercial real estate.