Aware Real Estate expands footprint in build-to-rent sector

23 April 2024
| By Rhea Nath |
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Aware Real Estate has confirmed construction is underway for two major developments in the inner and northern suburbs of Melbourne, marking a significant expansion to its role as one of the largest build-to-rent (BTR) developers in Australia.

The projects will deliver 726 dwellings at completion in 2026, at a time when Melbourne’s rental vacancy rate is at a record low of below 1 per cent. 

Barings’ real estate investment management team, a long-running partner of Aware Super and Aware Real Estate, will also have a key role at both sites as the development manager.

According to Aware Real Estate chief executive Michelle McNally, the two projects in Queens Road and Preston are in areas of strong demand, supported by important infrastructure, key transport links, and sought-after amenities.

“At all our sites we aim to foster connected communities, attracting a broad range of residents to create great places for people to live, and these developments will be no exception,” McNally said.

Aware Super CEO Deanne Stewart described Melbourne as “one of Australia’s great population magnets”, noting that Greater Melbourne is on track to be Australia’s largest city in a decade with more than 6 million people.

“Housing is at the very core of the community’s needs and while no one investor can single-handedly deliver the number of homes Melbourne will require over the coming decade, we’re pleased we can be part of the solution with investments that fit squarely with our objective of delivering strong long-term returns for our members,” she said.

Upon completion, the Queens Road and Preston properties will lift the number of homes in Aware Real Estate’s Melbourne portfolio to more than 930 across four sites.

“Across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra, we already have 10 operational sites in our residential portfolio and that number will keep growing,” McNally explained.

“Along with the Preston and Queens Road developments and our recently launched project at Zetland in inner Sydney, we have another two sites in planning and we expect to have more than 2,000 BTR apartments in the national portfolio within five years.”

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