Mirvac Group and Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) have bought Serenitas, a residential land-lease platform, from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC for just over A$1bn (€603m).

They will each own a 47.5% stake in the business, while existing investor, Tasman Capital Partners, holds the remaining 5%.

Campbell Hanan, Mirvac Group CEO, said: “Our expansion into the living sector comes against a backdrop of critical housing undersupply and tailwinds including rising population growth, record low rental vacancy levels and affordability challenges.

“Our existing apartment and masterplanned communities products are beneficiaries of these fundamentals, and our build-to-rent portfolio and expansion into land lease are natural adjacencies to our residential capabilities.”

He said the investment would also provide an opportunity to unlock value from the group’s existing and future master-planned community landbank.

“This transaction immediately scales our exposure to the land-lease communities sector across Australia and reinforces our position as the only residential developer in Australia delivering across the spectrum of housing typologies from rental housing, build-to-rent, land lease, house and land, medium density and high density living,” Hanan said.

Serenitas was formed in 2018 when GIC and Tasman Capital Partners purchased National Lifestyle Villages. It has become one of Australia’s leading pure-play land lease operators.

Its portfolio comprises 27 communities with over 6,200 sites – more than 4,200 occupied and around 2,000 to be developed, 98% of which have development approval. 

As part of the transaction, the Serenitas team, led by CEO Rob Nichols, will continue to manage 27 communities.

Nichols said: “There is certainly a growing awareness of modern land lease communities across Australia and the benefits available to customers. This will no doubt drive future demand.”

Mirvac will make an A$300m initial investment, with A$240m funded on settlement, expected in the third quarter, and A$60m deferred for 12 months.

Its acquisition funding will come from existing liquidity sources, and recent asset disposals by Mirvac, including this week’s sale of 60 Margaret Street, and the MetCentre, in Sydney, for A$777m to Ashe Morgan and MEC Global Partners Asia.