ECE expands residential activities in the United Kingdom and is acquiring a portfolio with more than 2,000 units
ECE is expanding its activities in the residential sector in the United Kingdom and is acquiring a portfolio with a total of 2,100 build-to-rent residential units at three locations in Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester – the three largest and most economically powerful cities in England after London. The acquisition of the first property in Birmingham, with over 320 residential units in two buildings, has now been completed, with the other two locations to follow over the course of the year. ECE have acquired the properties from Dandara, a UK build-to-rent developer and property manager. ECE will be responsible for the long-term management and leasing of the apartment buildings and has entered into a three-year partnership agreement with the seller’s management organization. This transaction marks ECE’s first investment in the “build-to-rent” market. ECE plans to further expand its activities in this sector, including in other European countries.
With this step, ECE is making a strategic investment in a growth market – the United Kingdom has a comparatively young population with dynamic growth rates and a strong economy with excellent development prospects. In this positive environment, the British build-to-rent market has also grown rapidly in recent years, following the trend toward renting residential housing and shared use of attractive common areas and additional services that has been gaining ground there for years.
“We are convinced that with our many years of experience and expertise in property management, we are also perfectly equipped to operate built-to-rent concepts,” said Henrie W. Kötter, Chief Investment Officer of ECE, explaining why the company entered this new segment. “After all, expertise, industry knowledge, and an uncompromising customer focus are critical when it comes to property management – and it is precisely these qualities that are deeply rooted in our DNA here at ECE.”
Build-to-rent apartments are fully equipped and furnished residential units that offer various additional services such as fitness areas, coworking spaces, lounge areas, and concierge services – and whose professional management, tailored to customer needs, is a key competitive factor.
The properties in Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester are all centrally located and within easy reach of major office locations, infrastructure facilities, and retail outlets, and offer modern apartments of varying sizes with the comfort of a hotel and the feel of home, as well as a range of services including gyms, package acceptance, coworking areas, bicycle parking spaces, additional rooms that can be booked for meetings, events, or guests, and a 24-hour concierge service.
ECE only entered the British residential real estate market last year with its first project in London. There, as part of a joint venture with Art-Invest Real Estate and Dukelease, it is developing an apartment building with 88 high-quality condominiums, around 3,500 m² of retail space, and 15 subsidized apartments on Cleveland Street in London’s West End.