Hearthstone Investment Management’s UK housing fund has made its first acquisitions in southern England worth £16.2m (€18.5m).

Hearthstone Residential Fund 1 (HRF1) has completed on two low-rise blocks of flats and houses in Crawley whilst also exchanging contracts on three low-rise blocks of flats in Milton Keynes.

All properties are new build and are anticipated to be ready to let in stages during 2019.

Andrew Smith, a partner and CIO of Hearthstone Investment Management, said: “In line with our strategy, we have focused on properties in suburban areas with good local infrastructure and situated near to areas offering sustainable employment.

“Crawley is positioned close to Gatwick airport, the second busiest airport in the UK and Milton Keynes is home to increasing numbers of companies choosing to expand their presence outside London. Both locations have excellent transport links, both locally and into the capital.”

HRF1 is a ten-year closed-end private equity vehicle investing into the private rented sector in UK regions.

At first close, the fund received commitments of £100m from a cornerstone investor group of five local authority pension funds, including the Derbyshire Pension Fund, Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension Fund, Staffordshire Pension Fund, Teesside Pension Fund and West Midlands Pension Fund.

In July the fund made its first investments in north-east England and Wales. HRF1 made its first acquisition in February this year.