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Watkin Jones forward sells Belfast build-to-rent development

By Josh White

Date: Monday 05 Jun 2023

Watkin Jones forward sells Belfast build-to-rent development

(Sharecast News) - Watkin Jones announced the forward sale of Loft Lines, a major residential project in Belfast's Titanic Quarter, on Monday.
The AIM-traded firm said the sale was made to L&G and Clanmil Housing Association, and would consist of 627 built-to-rent (BTR) units and 81 'affordable' homes available for social rent.

It said Loft Lines would be Belfast's first BTR scheme, situated in one of Europe's largest waterfront regeneration sites.

Looking at the financials, the company said the total consideration payable to Watkin Jones throughout the project's development was estimated to be around £155m.

The scheme was scheduled for completion in the summer of 2026, and was anticipated to deliver a margin aligned with the company's current target returns.

While construction work would not significantly start until the 2024 financial year, the profit contribution to 2023 would be limited to a small profit on the land transaction, as initially expected.

"We are delighted to have secured institutional investment from both L&G and Clanmil Housing Association for this landmark scheme in Belfast's iconic Titanic Quarter," said chief executive officer Richard Simpson.

"This is further evidence of the attractive investment and operational fundamentals of both BTR as a sector and Belfast as a city and a good sign of capital markets reopening."

At 1208 BST, shares in Watkin Jones Group were up 4.98% at 71.7p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.


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