Australian investment bank sets up Goodstone Living with build to rent pioneers Darryl Flay and Martin Bellinger

Macquarie Asset Management has established a new build to rent company to deliver thousands of new homes in the United Kingdom.

The Australian investment bank this week announced the launch of Goodstone Living, which will develop and operate purpose-built rental homes across the country.

The business will be led by Darryl Flay and Martin Bellinger, who founded Essential Living, the UK’s first major developer and operator of build to rent homes.

A spokesperson said the new business will aim to build a “market-leading portfolio of scale.” It is understood it will initially seek to raise around £1bn in debt and equity.

The focus will overwhelmingly be on development, although the company has not ruled out acquiring existing properties as well.

Dana Gibson, co-head of the real estate team in Europe at Macquarie, said: “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.

Macquarie has raised more than $14 billion from institutional investors over the last 10 years to invest in housing schemes, partnering with specialist multi-housing operators.

Flay and Belinger have overseen the development of an estimated 30,000 homes over the past few decades.

The pair formed Essential Living in 2012 but sold their shares and left the business in 2017 following a restructure by main shareholder M3 Capital Partners.