The investor has acquired Trilogy, a 232-apartment scheme off Chester Road in Castlefield, from Moorfield.
The £53.5m off-market transaction is Barings Real Estate’s latest build-to-rent acquisition as part of its strategy to invest approximately €350m, roughly £298m, into residential property this year.
Following the purchase of Trilogy, Barings’ residential portfolio now comprises around 1,130 residential units and 267 student beds that are either completed or in development.
Trilogy was funded by Moorfield to the tune of £40m and developed by Glenbrook. Designed by Aew Architects, the project completed in 2019 and is now 90% let.
The scheme features a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well a gym, 24-hour concierge, a 75-space underground car park and a communal courtyard garden.
“This acquisition was a unique opportunity to enter the attractive Manchester BTR market through a proven operational asset,” said Darren Hutchinson, head of UK real estate transactions at Barings.
“Manchester is a market we know well, having previously invested in PBSA and prime office space in the city, and we are confident that the list of major occupiers choosing Manchester as their regional hub will only continue to grow in the months and years ahead.”
Ross Netherway, head of origination at Moorfield Group, said: “This sale concludes another successful investment for Moorfield Real Estate Fund III and closely follows the recent disposal of The Forge in Newcastle. Investment in BTR remains a key limb in our wider beds investment strategy, which also includes student, healthcare and senior living.”
Barings was advised by CMS. Moorfield Group was advised by Knight Frank and Shoosmiths.
Commentators report that the BTR sector has held up well over the last two years, despite the uncertainty wrought by the pandemic, and remains an attractive prospect for investors.
Nick Pleydell-Bouverie, head of residential capital markets at Knight Frank, said: “As one of the first purpose-designed and operational build-to-rent assets to have traded in the UK market, The Trilogy represents a landmark transaction for the sector.
“The weight of both domestic and overseas capital seeking to invest in high-quality product continues to accelerate. This demand is being driven by the sector’s recent strong operational performance, which has taken place against a backdrop of Covid-19 and multiple national lockdowns.”
The Trilogy deal is not the first time Barings, Moorfield, and Glenbrook have combined on a deal.
In 2018, Barings entered the Liverpool PRS market, acquiring The Keel from Moorfield for £46.75m. The 240-apartment Queens Dock project was developed by Glenbrook.
Later that year, Barings bought into Glenbrook’s 280-apartment Vox in Cornbrook, becoming a joint venture partner.
Elsewhere in Manchester, Barings owns Landmark, a 180,000 sq ft office building just off Oxford Road, which demands some of the highest rents in the city.