Singapore property group CDL has entered Australia’s build-to-rent market with an immediate plan to build more than 500 apartments in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Its local subsidiary, CDL Australia, expects to begin construction on the two projects – at Toowong in Brisbane’s inner west and Melbourne’s Fishermans Bend precinct, which will yield around 320 and 240 apartments respectively - in the second half of this year.

On completion, they will increase the total value of CDL’s Australian portfolio to A$1bn (€610m).

Cameron Laird, head of development, CDL Australia, said: “We are extremely pleased with the strong foothold we have gained since our re-entry into the Australian property sector with our Ivy and Eve project in Brisbane in 2015 and the opportunity to leverage rising demand for rental accommodation with build-to-rent projects in Brisbane and Melbourne.”

CDL Australia is also progressing with apartment and townhouse projects in Brisbane and Melbourne, including its landmark Brickworks Park community in Brisbane’s inner north.

A second joint venture project at Fitzroy in Melbourne will soon get under way. A mixed-use joint venture project, The Marker, in West Melbourne was completed last year.

Outside Singapore, Australia is the third market for CDL’s private rented sector (PRS) investment. CDL launched is first UK PRS project, The Junction, in Leeds in the fourth quarter of last year and has begun a second project in Birmingham.

In April, the group acquired two PRS assets in Osaka for S$341m, bringing its total residential portfolio in Japan to 10 PRS assets.