The delegation from Heimstaden joined Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, and representatives from The Galliard Apsley Partnership, including Donagh O’Sullivan, chief executive of Galliard Homes, and Gerard Nock, chairman of Apsley House Capital, for a tour of the 11.6-acre site.
Heimstaden Bostad’s acquisition of Soho Wharf was the largest forward funding deal for a UK build-to-rent scheme outside London, as well as being the company’s first investment in the UK.
Robin Norstrom, director of Apsley House Capital, believes the deal will pave the way for further Nordic investment in Birmingham and other regional cities.
“You always need a first mover, and Heimstaden has made its move,
“Now other Scandinavian property investors will be eying up the city, keen to take advantage of a residential market with strong fundamentals.
“There is a lot of money in Nordic pension funds looking for a home, if the product and returns are right. In London, it’s difficult for investors to buy residential property due to the low yields, so they are turning their attention to the regions instead, where yields are much stronger.
“Right now, there’s nowhere better than Birmingham for residential investment due to the attractive market fundamentals.”
Soho Wharf comprises 752 new build-to-rent homes, including 650 apartments and 102 townhouses, providing affordable homes at discounted market rents. There will also be 10,000 sq ft of commercial space and 300 parking spaces.
Almost 40 per cent of the site will be green space, including public realm, private communal areas for residents and private gardens to the townhouses.
Construction is well underway with the development scheduled for completion by 2024.
Soren Vendelbo Jacobsen, co-chief investment officer at Heimstaden, said:
“It was great to visit Birmingham and to see the progress that has been made at Soho Wharf. As our first investment in Birmingham and the UK, we’re really excited by the opportunities it presents.
“We were really impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the City Council and its desire to attract foreign investment to Birmingham to help deliver the new homes the city needs.”
Cllr Ian Ward said:
“The fact that this is Heimstaden’s first investment in the UK is a vote of confidence for Birmingham and reinforces our reputation as a great place to do business. It was a pleasure to welcome the team from Heimstaden to the city and to learn more about their future investment plans.”
Donagh O’Sullivan, chief executive of Galliard Homes, said:
“We’re proud to be partnering with Heimstaden to deliver Soho Wharf. With its mix of housing, green space and public realm, this will be a truly transformative development for this area of the city.”