Aviva Investors to develop Spanish BTR portfolio with new partner

Aviva Investors to develop Spanish BTR portfolio with new partner

Aviva Investors and and Spanish developer Layetana Living have formed a new partnership to develop a portfolio of build-to-rent (BTR) homes in Spain.

The partnership, which will target a portfolio in excess of €500 million, has already secured its first development project under the advice of global property consultancy Knight Frank, acquiring a residential development in Barcelona.

The 71-unit scheme, located in the Sants district of Barcelona, is expected to be delivered at the end of 2023 and provide associated amenity space, a roof terrace and café. The site was purchased with the benefit of an existing licence and construction work has already commenced. Placing a strong emphasis on sustainability, including both embodied carbon and ongoing energy consumption of homes, the Partnership will ensure homes come with quality outdoor space for residents and technology provision fit for a low carbon future.

It is the second venture undertaken by Aviva Investors in the build-to-rent market and its first in continental Europe, following its partnership with Packaged Living which recently announced a deal to acquire and develop 195 affordable and energy-efficient family homes in the West Midlands region of the UK.

Future opportunities targeted by the partnership will include both development and forward acquisition projects across major cities in Spain, with a core base in Madrid and Barcelona and a preference for locations with a core service offering and strong public transport links.

Aviva Investors and Layetana will establish a new operating brand under which assets will be managed, with operating services provided by Layetana.

George Fraser-Harding, Head of European Funds at Aviva Investors, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Layetana in the dynamic and evolving Spanish residential market, likewise to be extending our build-to-rent investment programme into continental Europe. It is exciting to have already secured our first project in the Catalonia region, where supply constraints and unaffordable prices are increasing rental demand. The Spanish market is one which complements our growing European portfolio well, and our focus on delivering an active equity investment to clients. We believe this approach will best-serve our investors, with returns which can better-reflect the changing risks and longer-term structural changes occurring across today’s real estate market.”

Santi Mercadé, CEO at Layetana, commented: “The lack of rental supply across most markets in Spain is dramatic and there is huge pent-up demand seeking a quality, affordable product. Our partnership with Aviva Investors creates a platform which will seek to address this imbalance and deliver a portfolio of high-quality apartments priced at economical rents under a single brand which will come to be recognised for its high construction standards, affordable prices and extensive amenity space with a focus on outdoor provision.”

Stuart Osborn, Head of European Residential Investment Transactions at Knight Frank added: “We are seeing real momentum in the BTR market in Spain, with investment volumes in the space set to double for 2022. This partnership not only demonstrates the long-term appetite for growth in BtR, but also confidence in the fundamentals which underpin the residential investment market in Spain by committing to deliver market leading professionally managed, institutional product.”