Gerald Eve, on behalf of a private charity client, has sold Project Oak, a 192-unit West London social housing investment portfolio, to Shepherds Bush Housing Group, for £43m.
Portfolio incorporates 192 long-leasehold units across the London Borough of Ealing, let on individual leases to registered social housing provider Plexus UK, guaranteed by Mears Group PLC for an unexpired lease term of 15 years, and further secured by a nominations agreement with Ealing Council for a remaining 55 years.
All the units are one, two or three-bedroom flats within purpose-built blocks in established residential locations, with the majority clustered around Northolt, Southall and Greenford. The freeholds of nearly 60% of the assets are owned by the London Borough of Ealing, with the remainder held by private landlords or housing associations.
Our client has aggregated this portfolio since 2005, with the aim to alleviate homelessness in London through the provision of affordable housing accommodation. Having secured the units as social housing for the long term, our client’s decision to exit the portfolio and recycle the proceeds into further projects will benefit many in need of affordable housing accommodation.
Andrew Matthews, Associate
We received huge amounts of interest in the portfolio with the sale’s process benefitting from mounting investor appetite in the residential sector combined with a surge in demand for socially responsible real estate. This was a rare opportunity which proved popular to a broad cross section of investor types providing them with access of scale into the affordable housing sector. The portfolio offered a blend of long dated security underwritten by strong demand/supply dynamics and good underlying vacant possession value.
Richard Lines, Partner