Audley Group and Royal London establish joint venture to deliver retirement village
Luxury retirement village provider Audley Group has formed a joint venture with the Royal London Pension Property Fund to deliver a retirement village in Buckinghamshire.
Audley Wycliffe Park covers a 25-acre site at Horsleys Green, between Stokenchurch and High Wycombe, and will be the 21st village in Audley Group’s portfolio, with a GDV of £80m.
The agreement marks Royal London’s first investment into the retirement living sector. The village will provide a total of 156 retirement living properties and facilities.
The fund will provide the capital for the development of Audley Wycliffe Park and retain freehold ownership when all properties are sold.
Audley Group, owned by the Moorfield Audley Real Estate Fund, will then enter a 250 year lease, giving the fund secure, inflation-linked income.
Throughout the development phase, Audley will support Royal London and oversee the design and fit out; this is a first for the expanding retirement village sector.
Audley Group has been active in this market for over 20 years, and the 21 villages in its portfolio, when completed, will provide over 2,000 properties nationwide.
Nick Sanderson, founder and chief executive at Audley Group, said: “This new innovative [joint venture] structure highlights the breadth of opportunities for investors within the retirement living sector.
“We are delighted that such a major new entrant to the market has recognised the stability, security and longevity of this sector.
“Working with Royal London allows us to deliver our first-class offering in a way which is less capital intensive and provides Royal London with a secure, inflationary linked, long-term income stream.
“The retirement living sector has significant investment potential, one which is only set to grow as the government places more attention on fixing the broken social care model by increasing the supply of suitable housing that can provide care and wellbeing services and help preserve independence for as long as possible.
“The demand for retirement village living continues to expand and we have no doubt that this is just the start of a fruitful working relationship with Royal London.”
Andrew Johnston, head of alternative property investment at Royal London Asset Management, said: “We’re delighted to have completed this [joint venture] arrangement with Audley Group and look forward to getting on site this quarter with our first project in the retirement living sector and working together to deliver an outstanding retirement village.
“Having worked closely with the team at Audley Group over the past few months, we’re positive with regard to a strong, future working relationship.
“The retirement living sector in the UK presents significant investment opportunities.
“Changing demographics with an ageing society and a significant under supply of modern, purpose-built age appropriate housing points to strong sector growth in the years ahead.
“Addressing this under supply can have far reaching benefits such as a more efficient housing market, contributing to the fight against climate change, a more efficient use of energy and supporting changes in social care.
“Investors have an opportunity to make a real difference and make a positive impact while securing attractive returns.”