The Real Estate strategy has been structured on the basis of the current market conditions, the latest market research, and data available from reputable 3rd party advisors. The Real Estate team has a wealth of experience in predominantly PBSA, BTR, PRS and Permitted Developments (PD).
Real estate is not a complex asset class; however, it can become such if there is not proper due diligence, evidence, market research, oversight, and continual monitoring. The team know that we are not looking to either develop or invest in properties that we personally want or indeed like, it is what the market / end consumer wants.
It should be noted that today’s market is ever evolving and the strategy of the business unit will be continually revised and updated, as the impact of COVID-19 is felt and realised and that of Brexit takes affect over the next 12-24 months.
Finding the right opportunities to deliver for our clients
To maximise IRR’s, profitability, and cash events for MBU Capital through investing in and developing real estate transactions in the UK. We maximise MBU’s ROE, market presence and to build a successful real estate business over the medium to long term.
In 2020, MBU made key strategic hires for the real estate team, in order to be able to manage the existing developments and assets and to successfully grow the business over the coming year and beyond to produce market leading opportunities and see them through to completion.
Historically, the strategy for the real estate team has been to focus primarily on commuter towns on the outskirts of London. With prime central London house prices out of reach for many first-time buyers, the commuter town strategy has been at the forefront for many developers over the last 5 years. However, with new improved transport links including the recent announcement of the new HS2 initiative along with many corporate head-offices relocating their operations to Northern cities in an attempt to cut costs, the team at MBU strongly believe that a broader geographical spectrum will allow us to explore new territorial opportunities UK wide.
The philosophy of the team is to develop the right product in the right location rather than force our opinion on the market. In today’s COVID-19 world, the real estate market remains uncertain and therefore we have concentrated on areas where the risk element has been reduced or there is a clearly defined exit. This ensures we can maximise returns, based upon solid, detailed and well researched analysis.
The strategy for the real estate team is to focus on developing ‘anything with a bed’. This includes the following sectors:
We exclude Co-living from this strategy. The real estate team is actively looking to purchase schemes ideally on an unconditional basis and obtain the planning permission, however, will consider schemes with permission in place.
The core of the real estate team has significant experience in these sectors, having developed over 5,500 student rooms, 2,000 PD units and in excess of 3,000 PRS units.
The Regional Office & Industrial Fund (ROIF) is an actively managed, multistrategy, leveraged, ‘Bricks and Mortar’ commercial real estate fund. The fund is focused on driving returns through the improvement or repurpose of regional office and industrial property to produce both stable income returns and capital growth.
The improvement and stabilisation of income producing assets.
Purchasing high-yield assets, implementing improvements and selling them as high quality lower yield assets.
The repurposing of property by identifying assets were the demand for the current use is declining, gaining planning consent for conversion, then disposing of the asset as a development opportunity with a planning premium and in a market with rising demand.
Investment Criteria - Stabilised 9%+ NOI yield, Minimum investment size £5m — £25m, Exit time frame 3-5 years, must have value-adding proposition, inflation hedge potential, investment security and potential for capital growth with a define dexit strategy.
Property Strategy - Buying poorly managed, part income producing property, improving externals and refurbishing vacant space, securing new lettings & re-gearing existing leases and interventions to reposition assets for onward sale at a profit.
ROIF will look to execute both principal strategies while collecting and distributing income with a target coupon of 7%.
Adapting to a changing commercial real estate landscape we are shifting the ‘Bricks and Mortar Fund’ paradigm.
The strategy For ROIF is to buy high yielding assets and to add value to them by lowering the yield of the asset, so that it can be disposed of within a five year timescale.
Post Stabilisation Property Mix
25% Logistics (Storage / Last-Mile)
No one region to have more than 25% of the portfolio
>50% of total space let to 3A1 or better rated tenant.
< 40% of void / vacancy at any time
Cash Reserve and Rent Accounts to hold no less than 150% of annual coupon liability
>50% of total NOI from 3A1 rated or better coupon liability
Loan to Net Asset Value not to exceed 60% at any time
Before investing in offices, it is important to think about occupier demand. Anywhere with availability below 5% means the prospect for future rental growth is good. On this basis, Central London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Manchester, and potentially Birmingham at grade A level, all look like strong office investment locations.
As part of the ongoing real estate strategy, MBU will continue to purchase stable income generating UK wide office and industrial assets to build up its commercial portfolio. One such example includes the £7.6m purchase of a Grade A office building in Newcastle - Quorum Business Park, currently let out to a AAA covenant tenant for an unexpired 5-year term. Other successful asset management and sales has included the recent exit of Centenary Court HMRC Bradford for £25.5m.
Many potentially interesting real estate opportunities may not typically fit our current investment mandate or criteria in line with MBU’s risk policies. However, having the flexibility, we are happy to explore opportunistic deals on a deal by deal basis given the current market conditions.
At MBU, we know that each project has a unique story and an expected return that is commensurate with its level of risk.