Property and investment firm Strawberry Star Group has launched a new built-to-rent arm as it targets a £1bn growth by 2027.

Star Living has been launched with the aim of becoming one of the largest build-to-rent providers in the sector by targeting commuter towns and cities that have increased housing targets and choosing areas close to transport hubs that have very few new build rentals on offer.

The firm said that built-to-rent could serve a vital role in boosting supply in a part of the sector that one analysis by Capital Economics concluded would need 230,000 new rental homes a year.

Construction on a £45m Star Living development in Harlow, Essex, for a block of 163 studio, one and two-bed apartments homes is due to start this year and be completed in 2024.

A £30m Star Living site in Gravesend, Kent, has also been given permission for around 100 homes, while phase two of a site in Luton, Bedfordshire, aims to deliver 563 build-to-rent homes.

Strawberry Star said it aims to have a £1bn portfolio within London commuter towns by 2027.

Santhosh Gowda, chair of Strawberry Star, said: “Our vision for Strawberry Star’s Star Living arm is to be the leading income generating, diversified and scalable built-to-rent investment platform through our unique, cost-efficient build and operational expertise.”

He said he thought build-to-rent was better placed to meet future live-work trends in a highly pressurised market.

Mr Gowda added: “Last year saw a near 80% increase of capital invested into the sector compared to 2020, so it’s not unreasonable to suggest investment could triple as we edge towards 2023, having shown incredibly strong resilience during an unpredictable year for the UK economy.”

Source : Inside Housing