Cording Real Estate Group’s UK private rented sector (PRS) fund has secured its first deal with an agreement to forward fund a £50m (57.2m) a build-to-rent (BTR) development in the East Midlands of England.

The Cording UK Residential Investment fund, which plans to invest £400m in UK housing, has agreed to forward fund a build-to-rent development at the Merlin Works site in the Waterside regeneration area in Leicester.

The development has been assembled by the developer, CODE, and will be built by Winvic Construction in its second BTR project with Cording. It comprises more than 380 one and two-bed apartments and was designed by Leicester-based architect, Staniforth.

Construction will commence on site in November and is expected to be completed in autumn 2020.

Charlie Miller, the director of residential acquisitions at Cording, said: “Leicester is a fantastic location for the fund’s first build-to-rent investment. It is a vibrant city which features prominently in the East Midlands with a high demand for affordable new build-to-rent accommodation in line with the fund’s strategy.

”Leicester’s population is forecast to grow at a rate in excess of the national average, while the current supply of rental stock in Leicester is limited and relatively dated.”

Cording’s UK PRS fund was launched in August with equity commitments of more than £100m from German institutional investors. Cording is expecting to raise an additional £150m of equity commitments from continental European institutional investors.

Using leverage, the fund will have £400m to create a diversified portfolio of PRS assets, delivering sustainable and stable distributions over a long-term holding period.