Aim 100 

The Aim 100 2019: 30 to 21

The Aim 100 2019: 30 to 21

30. Watkin Jones

Watkin Jones (WJG) continues to be in the right place at the right time, focusing on two sectors of the property and housing market that are largely immune to the political and economic uncertainties generated by the Brexit farce. The business model centres on purpose-built student accommodation, which is attracting increased interest from institutional investors, and forward-funded build-to-rent apartments, another asset class that is proving to be highly attractive for investors seeking low-risk investment opportunities. Most recently, it secured a forward sale of a 599-student-bed accommodation to global investor DWS, scheduled for delivery ahead of the 2021-22 academic year, as well as a 245-bed scheme in Swansea. In all, there is a secured development pipeline covering 7,500 beds across 17 sites, of which 5,334 have been forward sold. On the build-to-rent side, it has three sites comprising 415 apartments with planning consent and a further 800 going through the planning process. This is on top of 315 apartments under development for M&G Real Estate and a 300-apartment scheme for a Singapore based consortium. With net cash on the balance sheet and a decent dividend, the shares remain a buy. JC

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