Charles Fairhurst

The reported deal of Built-To-Rent (BTR) developer Inhabit, selling six sites to Greystar enabling a BTR development programme worth a reported £1bn, peaked my interest. Who is this developer I hadn’t heard of before?

Inhabit’s website is modern but offers surprisingly little information other than a passing mention of six sites in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. It directs you to Hawthorn London, a corporate & financial communications consultancy, for further enquiries, but doesn’t tell us anything else.

Inhabit’s initial investment appears to have been the acquisition of the listed Heap’s Mill complex (pictured, courtesy of Liverpool Echo, 14 January 2018) in Liverpool from developer Elliot Group early in April 2016. A report in early 2018 shows the site is in a derelict state.

Elliot had secured planning permission in October 2014 for 800 homes and 12,000 sq ft of leisure and retail units at the site, arranged around a public space called Baltic Square. At the time Inhabit reported it was independently owned and capitalised, and according to Companies House is led by Brandon Hollihan and Michael Kovacs, both of whom were also directors of Mercer Real Estate. Mercer Real Estate seemingly morphed into Castleforge or CF Corporate Services and other similar named companies.

Inhabit was previously called Residential Securities Limited and changed its name to Inhabit in April 2016; the most recent information in Companies House refers to the March 2017 accounts and suggests the company is owned by Inhabit Residential Limited, which has no assets other than some £2.4m in cash, and net assets after debt of £145,224. We used the fantastic database by Datscha to see the property ownership by this company, and none showed up.

Property Week reported in August 2017 that An(n)a Nekhamkin had been MD of Inhabit since 2015 and has worked in acquisitions for hotels. Ana went to The Wharton School in the USA like Michael Kovacs, one of the two directors registered as owning Inhabit Residential Ltd at Companies House.

Brandon (Alexis) Hollihan and American-born Michael (Bela) Kovacs both hold 11 active company director appointments, and An(n)a Nekhamkin holds 2: LAMA Urban and LeClub Enterprises, the latter with Kovacs and Hollihan.

This is the first Market Commentary blog on behalf of Property Overview by Charles Fairhurst, an Institutional PRS expert providing PRS training in this booming sector where few have actual experience. Please keep your eye out for upcoming blogs on all matters PRS, written by our PRS experts

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