The achievements of the residential sector’s leading lights were celebrated in style at the RESI Awards 2022, held last week at London’s Grosvenor House hotel. Read on to discover who lifted the trophies.
Asset Manager of the Year
Winner: Legal & General Investment Management, Real Assets (LGIM RA)
Last year was LGIM RA’s strongest year to date in build-to-rent asset management, according to the company. Despite the various lockdowns and government restrictions, LGIM RA closed the year with a record 1,985 new lettings across nine assets. Overall, the company’s portfolio occupancy grew from 53% to 90%, with rental growth of 2.2%. Net operating income, meanwhile, almost doubled from £18m in 2020 to £35m in 2021. The company also successfully launched two new schemes over the period.
The judges praised LGIM RA’s “customer-centric approach” and “market-leading wellbeing initiatives”, as well as its “strong commitment to ESG”.
Sponsored by Parcel Pending by Quadient
Climate Crisis Initiative of the Year
Winner: Wates Residential on behalf of the Cardiff Living development programme with Cardiff Council
Aspen Grove is a development of 214 homes for sale and affordable rent. It is being brought forward by Cardiff Living, as part
of a partnership between Wates Residential and Cardiff Council to deliver 1,500 new energy-efficient homes. It is the first development in the country to target the Net Zero Carbon Ready standard and is part of Wates’ ongoing approach to low-carbon/energy development and Cardiff Council’s fuel poverty strategy and One Planet Cardiff initiative.
“It’s a great example of a public-private partnership that is delivering truly sustainable homes that are energy efficient and self-generating in terms of heat and power,” said the judges.
Highly commended: Barratt Developments
Sponsored by chapmanbdsp
Consultancy Practice of the Year
Winner: Grasshopper Communications
As a small agency specialising in housing, regeneration, infrastructure and planning, Grasshopper Communications’ stated ambition is to be an industry leader in community engagement by achieving
higher levels of inclusion and diversity, improving socioeconomic opportunities and, ultimately, delivering better communities. According to the company, in 2021 it exceeded its growth targets and increased its turnover by around 60%. A number of new client wins in the South East also enabled it to expand beyond its home in Wales and open a new office in Crawley, West Sussex. New housebuilding clients include Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes and Shanly Homes.
“The company has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of a niche market and has achieved a lot during the pandemic,” said the judges.
Deal of the Year
Winner: John Laing for Brigid senior living platform
In April 2021, John Laing and Macquarie Capital formed a joint venture, Brigid Investments, to finance the largest new-build retirement rental platform in the UK, worth around £200m, to be developed by McCarthy Stone. This was one of the first investments in rental retirement backed by institutional investors.
“This is a new sector for rental, with significant investment required and a complex structure, so it’s bold, innovative and ground-breaking,” said the judges. “It enables a new type of housing supply with scale and ambition in an untested market.”
Highly commended: Hyde and M&G Partnership; Galliard Homes and Apsley House Capital for Soho Wharf, Birmingham
Sponsored by Shoosmiths
Development of the year
Winner: Mount Anvil for The Silk District
Forming a key destination in the vision for Whitechapel’s future, The Silk District – a joint venture between Mount Anvil and L&Q – is a new urban quarter offering 700 homes, extensive public realm and workspaces. Its backers said it combines “outstanding design and amenities” close to a Crossrail station.
“The JV is delivering a great product in a great location,” said the judges. “The design is strong and something that has been needed in this location for years. The scale means that it will have a plethora of uses and different people and tenants living and working together, which is great to see.”
Highly commended: HBD and Capital&Centric for Kampus
Sponsored by JLL
Financier of the Year
Through its corporate bank real estate team, Barclays delivered more than £300m of new debt to private developers, welcoming new clients including Pocket Living, Goldman Sachs and Castle Green Homes in 2021. The bank’s social housing team, meanwhile, delivered more than £500m of new debt over the period.
Barclays believes that it now counts more than 65% of the largest housing associations as clients. It also prides itself on having dedicated residential teams in all major cities across the UK, which provide for local knowledge, strong industry relationships and day-to-day support.
The judges said: “Barclays always delivers year on year, with 2021 again being impressive. The broad nature of its loan book should be commended.”
Highly commended: Legal & General Capital
Health and Wellbeing Initiative of the Year
Winner: Ridge and Partners, Trinity, Bentley and Hyphen – Bradbury View
According to its backers, Bradbury View is a welcoming residential extension to Winchester charity Trinity’s day centre, creating much-needed apartments and communal facilities to help vulnerable people move away from homelessness. The facility was designed to provide a supportive environment to help transform lives.
“This is a really interesting project that is delivering accommodation to those most in need, in a way that covers lots of important aspects of wellbeing,” said the judges. “We really like this project. It has a measurable impact and a long-term future. It could be groundbreaking.”
Sponsored by Spring Move
Landlord (Private and Social) of the Year
Winner: Sigma Capital with Simple Life Homes
In 2016, Sigma set up its own rental brand, Simple Life, which became the vehicle under which Sigma’s own build-to-rent family houses and those created for its investors are marketed. The model allows Sigma to streamline everything from specification to resident communications. The portfolio now has more than 4,500 homes with an annual estimated rental value of around £43.5m and around 1,000 more homes under way.
“They’re doing all the right things in terms of being a very good landlord and at scale,” said the judges.
Sponsored by NHBC
Large Developer of the Year
Winner: Berkeley Group
Berkeley Group has been transformed in the past five years and is now defined by a unique commitment to regenerating large, complex sites in London and the South East – the UK’s most under-supplied markets. Last year, 83% of its construction sites were on brownfield land. With its partners, Berkeley delivered almost 5,000 new homes in 2021 and has 25 long-term regeneration sites.
The judges said that Berkeley “ticks all the boxes” and were particularly impressed by its robust approach to ESG.
Highly commended: Barratt Developments
Sponsored by Savills
Later Living Operator of the Year
Winner: Audley Group
During 2021, Audley put in a great deal of effort to protect residents and staff members during the pandemic. Perhaps surprisingly, given the circumstances, the company also managed to grow over the period. Audley is known for its high-end retirement villages, but its key growth target for the year was in its mid-market Mayfield Villages portfolio. To that end, Audley struck a deal with investment group BlackRock last year to fund at least three new villages with the first, in Watford, due to open later this year.
The judges described Audley as “simply one of the best in the business”.
Highly commended: Housing 21
Sponsored by Kosy Living
Legal/Professional Team of the Year
Winner: Gerald Eve
Gerald Eve can point to a number of successes in 2021, not least advising on the acquisition and disposals of numerous UK build-to-rent schemes totalling more than 800 units, with a value of £210m for clients including Sovereign, L&G, Safe Haven, PGIM and APAM.
The firm advised on the sale of a £43m, 192-unit social housing portfolio in Ealing for a charity, and valued residential assets totalling around £3bn over the period, including major regeneration schemes in Bromley-by-Bow, Bristol, Hounslow, Newcastle and Golders Green.
“Gerald Eve had a successful year from a professional point of view,” said the judges. “Similarly, it made good progress on the ESG agenda and diversity.”
Highly commended: LMP Law
Sponsored by The Land Trust
Newcomer of the Year
Winner: Castle Green Homes
Castle Green was created following a management buyout of Macbryde Homes.
Led by chief executive Gwyn Jones, it was backed by long-term finance partner Bridgemere UK. The company is building 300 homes a year, having already almost doubled output from 114 to 213 legal completions in the financial year ending March 2021. Annual turnover increased from £21m to £54m over the same period, with plans to reach £75m. It claims to be on target to quadruple the size of the business in the first five years.
“Castle Green shows great growth and an impressive plan for the future, while doing its part to reduce its environmental impact,” the judges said.
Highly commended: ZED PODS
Property Manager of the Year
Winner: Quintain Living
Quintain has delivered 3,255 build-to-rent homes at the 85-acre Wembley Park, all managed by its in-house operator Quintain Living. Residents have access to amenity spaces such as a clubhouse and allotments, as well as “hotel-inspired service”.
In the past year, Quintain Living facilitated more than 1,700 move-ins at Wembley Park, a 234% increase on 2020. The company also took the decision to increase lease lengths, remove break clauses and introduce premiums on ‘short’ lets of under 12 months.
“There is a very real sense of the management teams being fully integrated within the area,” said the judges.
Sponsored by Harris Associates
PRS Deal of the Year
Winner: Countryside Partnerships for Beam Park
Beam Park is one of London’s largest new neighbourhoods, with 3,000 homes. The brownfield site is owned by the Greater London Authority, and a joint venture between Countryside Partnerships and L&Q will deliver 50% affordable housing on the site. More than half of the site is green space and the scheme includes two schools, a neighbourhood centre and a new nursery.
“The partners have broad ambitions across inclusivity, social cohesion and ESG,” said the judges. “It’s an ambitious development that will be transformational and create a new community in this area, not just homes.”
Highly commended: Long Harbour for Project Rock
Sponsored by Foxtons
Sales and Letting Agency of the Year
Winner: Ascend Properties
In 2021, Ascend let 3,387 units and agreed 255 sales. It had more than 225,000 enquiries for its properties and now has an average transaction time for lettings of 14.7 days, well below the industry average.
The company also gained 3,978 new instructions across sales and lettings in 2021, up 59% from 2020. Its turnover, meanwhile, increased by 67%, from around £4.1m to more than £7m. Over the past 18 months, Ascend has invested more than £500,000 in technology development and innovation.
“It’s an innovative agency making full use of proptech while being sensitive to environmental issues,” said the judges.
Highly commended: Londonist DMC
Small Developer of the Year
Last year was Capital&Centric’s busiest and best to date. Over the period, the company worked on more than £500m of developments and spent £2m a week on regeneration. Despite the backdrop of the pandemic and commentators predicting the decline of city centres, the company pressed ahead on its projects, with residents moving into all five buildings at Kampus, the company’s £250m garden neighbourhood in Manchester city centre.
“Capital&Centric’s feel for regeneration and local community commitment is very strong and it can boast some great financial and development numbers,” the judges said. “It can demonstrate strong evidence of doing things differently.”
Sponsored by Atelier
Social Impact Initiative of the Year
Winner: Places for People
Places for People’s East Wick + Sweetwater development in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park boasts a range of both hard and soft social impact initiatives. Delivered in a joint venture with Balfour Beatty Investments, phase one is complete and comprises 302 homes, 40% of them affordable. Sales figures show that 75% of shared ownership and 26% of open-market
sales have been to first-time buyers. The development includes the Clarnico Club, which serves as the beating heart of the new neighbourhood, acting as a multi-purpose social hub with a café and flexible event space.
“A broad and inclusive view has been taken here and there is longevity,” said the judges.
Sponsored by Hayfield
Student Accommodation Operator of the Year
Winner: Unite Students
Unite Students was the first purpose-built student accommodation provider in the UK to forgo rents for students returning home due to Covid-19 in March 2020. In January 2021, in response to another lockdown, it took further action, including offering students the flexibility to change the start of their tenancy, allowing international students to live free of charge during quarantine ahead of their contracted booking, and offering a 50% rent discount for students already in accommodation for a period of up to 10 weeks. Unite says it did “what was right” throughout the pandemic and its student rent support now totals well in excess of £100m. “The Covid-19 response was fast and very good,” said the judges.
Highly commended: Yugo
Sponsored by Yardi
Residential Personality of the Year
Jennie Daly, chief executive, Taylor Wimpey
The winner of this year’s Personality of the Year is someone the judges described as an inspirational role model for the industry. Jennie Daly, who was recently appointed as the first female chief executive of housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, stands out for her exceptional operational leadership and sparkling personality.
Daly recently replaced chief executive Peter Redfern, having previously served as group operations director at the £2.8bn a year business. A planner by training, she is authoritative on all aspects of the housing and land markets and has a phenomenally strong intellectual grasp of her subject.
In her previous role, she oversaw land, design, planning, technical, sustainability, production, supply chain and logistics aspects. Daly is widely respected for her dedication, focus and brilliant networking with local and central government.
As a working mother, she is extremely empathetic and supportive of women in the property industry, recognising how challenging it can be to develop careers at the same time as having children. Her appointment to chief executive of one of the UK’s listed housebuilders sends a clear, positive signal to young women across the industry.
Daly’s style of leadership, and huge sense of fun while doing it, sets her apart as a passionate and talented personality who is much admired by the whole of the residential sector.
Sponsored by Castle Green Homes
The Panel of Judges
- Philip Barnes, group land and planning director, Barratt Developments
- Tom Bill, head of London residential research, Knight Frank
- Lawrence Bowles, director of residential research, Savills
- Neil Brearley, founding director and chief financial officer, real estate and construction consultancy Cast
- Dan Brooks, co-founder and director, Moda
- Paul Brown, chief executive, Public Sector
- Craig Bryant, strategy and business development director, Fresh
- John Carter, commercial director, commercial real estate, Aldermore
- Erin Clarke, director, Investec Real Estate
- Mark Collins, executive director – chairman UK residential, CBRE
- Henry Columbine, managing director, communications, SEC Newgate
- Steve Cooper, partner, Cluttons
- Graeme Craig, director of commercial development, Transport for London
- Rory Cramer, chief executive and co-founder, HomeViews
- Jane Crouch, interim head, Fresh
- Nick Cuff, land director, Pocket Living
- Joseph Daniels, group chief executive and founder, Etopia Homes
- Deepa Deb, partner, Dentons UK and Middle East
- Richard Donnell, executive director, Zoopla
- Susan Freeman, partner, Mishcon de Reya
- Fiona Freeman, managing director, FTI Consulting
- Jerome Geoghegan, land and planning director, Telford Homes
- George Grace, development executive, Native Land
- Vanessa Hale, head of insights and residential research, BNP Paribas Real Estate UK
- Shaun Harris, managing director, Harris Associates
- Simon Hodson, head of UK health, later living and care, JLL
- Kimberley Hopkins, associate director, ING
- Chris Lacey, managing director, Lacey Capital Partners
- Stafford Lancaster, chief investment officer, Delancey
- John Lewis, executive director, Thamesmead, Peabody
- Hugo Llewelyn, chief executive and founder, Newcore Capital Management
- Jonathan Manser, chief executive, Manser Practice
- Alex Notay, placemaking and investment director, PFP Capital
- Ayesha Ofori, managing director, Axion Property
- James Owen, land director, Mount Anvil
- Mark Quigley, managing director – UK real estate finance, Beaufort Capital Management UK
- Mark Quinn, chairman and chief executive, Quinn Estates
- Arianna Ricciotti, project director, British Land
- Nick Riley, architect and board director, Whittam Cox Architects
- Lesley Roberts, partner, Allsop
- Jackie Sadek, chief operating officer, UK Regeneration
- Jessica Tomlinson, head of real estate, Barclays Corporate Banking
- Catherine Webster, executive director – strategy and investment, Quintain
- Nick Whitten, head of UK residential and living research, JLL
- Catherine Williams, head of living sector, Shoosmiths
- Freddie Wonnacott, director – fund management, M&G Real Estate
- Neil Young, investment chair, Young
- Debra Yudolph, founding partner, SAY Consulting