Dutch pension asset managers APG and Bouwinvest are investing in Australia’s build-to-rent (BTR) sector through a partnership with Scape Australia founders, Stephen Gaitanos and Craig Carracher.

The partnership has launched a A$1.5bn (€913m) rent-to-live platform to develop and acquire assets.

Carracher told IPE Real Assets that the venture would utilise all the learning from Scape Australia to build up the new BTR platform.

Scape is Australia’s largest rental accommodation owner of student accommodation.

“We call build to rent ‘Rent To Live’ as this focuses attention on the customer/tenant, not the developer/landloper, Carracher told IPE Real Assets.

Carracher said the new Rent To Live operational platform brand would be launched towards the end of this year. It is planned to roll out the platform nationally in urban city locations.

Gaitanos said investors APG and Bouwinvest were existing partners who had been on a ”successful journey” with Scape Australia for purpose-built student housing over the past 10 years.

APG head of Asia Pacific real estate, Graeme Torre, said: “The rented residential sector is an important constituent of the global portfolio we manage for our pension fund clients. It is fully aligned with one of the building blocks of our real estate strategy – urbanisation, where among other things, we look to address important issues such as housing affordability.

“Professionally-managed rented residential buildings are also one of the few ways to monitor and manage energy usage in the residential sector on a large scale. We have had a very successful partnership with the Scape team, who have proven themselves to be capable not only of developing first-class residential assets but also highly capable of managing through adversity.”

Bouwinvest’s director Asia-Pacific investments Robert Koot, said: “We have extensive expertise in the affordable and sustainable housing segment in the Netherlands, US, Germany, Japan and many other countries around the world. Via this new joint venture we are now broadening the exposure of our client and further diversify their allocation in Australia.”

Bouwinvest’s Sydney-based portfolio manager, Jorrit Sennema, said: “Our BTR strategy is looking to capitalise on the structural mismatch between demand and supply of good-quality rental accommodation in the Australian market.

“This joint venture is addressing the need for professionally-managed rental product in well-connected locations for tenants demanding flexibility and security of tenure.”

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