Atlas Residential intends to invest $1bn (€900m) to create its first global multifamily apartment portfolio.

The Chicago-headquartered investor said the portfolio being created will be made up of several thousand existing Atlas units and newly acquired value-add and development properties throughout the US, the UK and mainland China.

The US will account for 65% of the portfolio with the UK and China receiving 20% and 15%respectively.

Atlas Residential CEO, Steven Ivankovich, said: “We want to blend the stability and continued growth of US multi-family assets with what we are seeing as coming sector distress in the UK with Brexit and in China with US trade war effects and government policy forcing developers to shift to rental development.”

Shanghai-based Atlas China managing director Patrick Kelly said Atlas is working with developers [in China] who are struggling to sell units and are being forced to build properties exclusively for rent with the recent change in government policy toward housing.

“We are seeing significant distress and ‘deer in headlight’ effect as builders and developers just don’t know what to do when it comes to rental apartments.

“I have been living and working in the Chinese property sector for 20 years and see huge opportunity and a long-term competitive advantage for Atlas here.”

Atlas’ UK regional director Georgie Harper-Wilde, said: “From what we are seeing in the market, inexperienced UK multi-family operators will need to dispose of underperforming assets as they struggle to cope with market tightening and in some cases sub-market oversupply.

“The training and support we receive from our US counterparts who are multifamily experts - is second to none and far exceeds anything else I have seen in Build to Rent in the UK. This translates at the property level where we have achieved unprecedented performance which we are extremely proud of.’’

The manager plans to deploy the capital through Atlas Residential Holdings Hong Kong via its discretionary private opportunity fund.