St Bride’s launches UK region-specific property fund

By Bridging Loan Directory -

 

St Bride’s has raised £20m (€22.8m) from UK pension funds – including co-investment – for a region-specific property fund focused on lot sizes between £2m-7m that would usually be too small for institutional investors.

The seven-year White Rose Partnership – named after Yorkshire’s emblem – will target institutional-grade assets in the region at secondary prices over the next 12-18 months.

“A gap between the pricing expectations of buyers and sellers is not uncommon, especially if the sellers are institutional,” said the fund manager.

The vehicle will invest across asset types, but its primary focus will be on mispriced commercial investments with recovery potential, residential, social infrastructure and land with development potential.

St Bride’s is targeting a 6% annual return.

Although the manager has capped debt in the fund at 20%, partner Ian Houston said he would be “very surprised if we use it”.

St Bride’s conceived the fund after its own research forecast significant growth prospects within the region in four cities, including Leeds and Sheffield.

“There is scope to invest across the whole region,” Houston said. “The four big cities in our rankings are a significant driver, but that doesn’t mean we will look at other opportunities.”

However, he acknowledged the house’s overall advice to investors – to weight between 30-35% each to 20 global cities, London and UK regional sustainable cities – would, if taken, result in lower allocations to UK secondary.

“The regions will lose out because other opportunities make more sense,” he said.

Although Houston declined to give details, he said the manager could replicate the Yorkshire fund model to cover other UK regions characterised by sizeable populations and forecast growth.

“It’s fair to say we like to think other regions have the same compelling case that Yorkshire does,” he said.