Macquarie Asset Management has set up a new UK business to buy, develop, and operate purpose-built rental communities across the country.

The Australian manager has marked its direct entry into the UK housing market by partnering with Darryl Flay and Martin Bellinger, co-founders of UK private build-to-rent developer Essential Living, to form Goodstone Living. Flay and Bellinger will lead the UK built to rent platform as principals.

Dana Gibson, co-head of Macquarie Asset Management’s real estate team in Europe, said: “The establishment of Goodstone Living, together with Darryl and Martin, is strategically aligned with our focus on establishing and incubating specialist real estate managers in sectors that we believe are supported by significant structural tailwinds.

“This sector has emerged as a global mega-trend in real estate over the last 10 years, driven by secular trends including urbanisation, digitalisation and demographic shifts. This has created an opportunity to access this growing asset class at scale, and we expect sustained demand and changing demographics will make it more resilient, less volatile, and correlated with inflation rather than the cycle.”

Flay said: “We are convinced that delivering positive and sustainable outcomes for our residents, partners and communities are not mutually exclusive.

“Covid-19 has reinforced the long-term fundamentals underpinning the need for better quality rental housing and we see a significant growth opportunity in the build-to-rent sector as the expectations of renters increase, and demographic change continues to reshape the market.”

Bellinger said: “Our long-term focus will allow us to put down roots in the local community and invest significantly in creating healthier homes designed to promote wellbeing.

“Goodstone wants to foster a culture of innovation, accountability, and positive change and this means having an intergenerational mindset that delivers sustainable outcomes for our residents, communities and environment.”

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.