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Buy to rent: 'Boutique' brand Kooky buys 66 apartments in two blocks at Bishop's Stortford's Goods Yard development

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A "boutique" buy-to-rent business has snapped up two of the apartment blocks at the Bishop's Stortford Goods Yard development in a £20.5m deal with builder Bellway.

Kooky bought the 66 homes next to the railway station as part of plans to acquire a portfolio of properties in key locations surrounding London.

Managing director Howard Crocker said: "Despite the ongoing lockdowns, we're seeing growing demand for the buy-to-rent market, especially as more and more people are seeking an opportunity to live on the outskirts of London to gain additional space and a better quality of life.

Bishop's Stortford's Goodsyard development (44493861)
Bishop's Stortford's Goodsyard development (44493861)

"Bishop's Stortford is the ideal commuter belt town, and its proximity to the capital and Stansted Airport are key drivers of demand for wanting to live in this area.

"At Kooky we're not about offering 'run of the mill' standard apartments. Our ethos is focused on boutique living and bespoke service; our rental properties showcase dynamic design and a personalised 24/7 service dedicated to our consumers from the point of moving in and thereafter.

"We are continuing our search to acquire developments in areas similar to Bishop's Stortford that will help build our Kooky brand as the unique property provider."

Kooky has acquired blocks A1 and A2 on the site on a 999-year leasehold basis. Together with the purchase of Buckingham House in High Wycombe, it has invested just over £40m in buy to rent in the current quarter. It also has properties in Staines, Redhill, Whetstone and Mill Hill.

Its Goods Yard buildings comprise 28 one-bed apartments, 37 two-beds and one three-bedroom place. Currently under construction, the flats will be available for occupation in the second quarter of 2022.

As part of the purchase, the two buildings will be Kooky-branded, with design elements incorporated into common areas to create the boutique feel that is a hallmark of the company's approach.

Greg Allsop, sales and marketing director at Bellway North London, said: "The forward purchase of blocks A1 and A2 by Kooky allows us to concentrate on the private sale apartments in the development, confident in the knowledge we have a great partner whose ambition complements our own. Kooky's boutique approach to the buy-to-rent sector is innovative and adds to the overall appeal of Goods Yard."

Plans for the Bishop's Stortford Goods Yard development
Plans for the Bishop's Stortford Goods Yard development

Bellway is building five blocks on the site in all as part of a £200m transformation of the land around the station by Solum, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property.

In phases over the next decade, the project will ultimately deliver over 500 homes, along with office space, new retail accommodation, a Premier Inn hotel, a care home and two multi-storey car parks.

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