BPD Woningfonds getting underway
As from 17 February 2020, BPD offers 45 apartments for rent in Park Triangel, a new district in Waddinxveen with monthly rents ranging between € 675 and € 995. At that price, you get an energy-efficient house, with a surface area of between 36 and 95 square metres, right opposite the Waddinxveen Triangel railway station. In short, ideal for starters or senior citizens. The first tenants are expected to be able to move in in May 2020.
They are the first homes that BPD Woningfonds, launched in November 2019, offers for rent online. The fund will gradually be filled with 15,000 affordable middle-income rental homes. Fund director Tak Lam can see many positive reactions to the initiative of BPD and Rabobank. “BPD regional offices are already receiving spontaneous phone calls from alderman, mayors and civil servants. That is significant. Everyone recognises the problem: there are far too few rental homes for middle incomes. The fact that this problem is now being seriously tackled by a major developer, backed by Rabobank, is impressive.”
'As such, we commit ourselves to an area for a longer period of time'
BPD is broadening its proposition on the housing market, through the fund. Lam: “It usually goes like this: a developer buys land, develops homes and moves on again. As an integrated area developer, we already did more than just that, but now we’re doing even more. We become and remain the owner of the rental properties. As such, we commit ourselves to an area for longer. This is a bonus for current and future tenants, as well as for municipalities and developing contractors. It provides security.”
He mentions the Holland Park West district in Diemen, where BPD and Dura Vermeer won a tender (see box), as an example. “As BPD Woningfonds, we thus provide a long-term substantial investment commitment, at an early stage.” One thing leads to another: Dura Vermeer is now involving BPD in the development of a large location elsewhere. Lam: “We’ve received the offer to purchase a large number of new mid-priced rental properties. Here too, we can issue our investment commitment early on in the process.” And this is just the beginning. Lam is already looking further ahead: “Housing associations would like to tackle outdated and one-sided residential areas by adding mid-priced rental properties. They’re not allowed to build these themselves. We can really make an impact there too. Also because unlike other investors, we aim for a fair return, rather than the highest possible return. Our rents are rising only slightly and our rental properties will remain in the mid-priced rental segment for a prolonged period of time.”
Homes for starters, families and senior citizens
The pipeline with rental properties is starting to fill up. Lam: “People are very enthusiastic, also at BPD internally. We will use 2020 to set up and expand the fund.” The BPD Woningfonds team will continue to grow. The main tasks are to build the pipeline of rental properties and to develop floor plans that meet the housing requirements of the target groups. Lam: “We focus on starters, families and senior citizens with a household income ranging between once and twice the average. Housing sizes and types are of course appropriate, as are the rents, making a distinction between the Randstad conurbation and other regions. Most rents range between € 650 and € 1000; a maximum of € 1250 applies to the Randstad conurbation.
The team, in conjunction with Rabobank, is also working on the development of matching financial products, including rental savings. Tak Lam: “Especially for tenants of BPD Woningfonds, we are working on a bank savings product that allows you to save for an owner-occupied home later, whilst paying rent. Qualitative market research shows that there is a lot of interest in this among first-time buyers.”