Official statistics suggest that there are around 3.6m households that rent in the UK, a number which could grow by more than a million in the next five years. Harwood’s new listed arm, called the Multifamily Housing REIT, will target buildings in regional towns and cities which are already being used as rental homes, rather than building them itself.
It is understood to be floating with a £70m seed portfolio comprising around 650 homes, and wants to manage properties it can rent to tenants at an affordable rate.
Nick Jopling, a former executive director of housebuilder Grainger, will be the company’s chairman and David Lis, formerly head of equities at Aviva Investors, will also be on the board. Mr Mills co-founded JO Hambro in 1993 with Jamie Hambro. He left the investment company in 2011 when it was bought by Australian firm BT Investment Management, pocketing a share of £124m in the process. JO Hambro boasted £30.8bn of assets under management at the end of June.
Harwood Capital was spun out of JO Hambro in the same year. It was originally incorporated in 2003.
The company now has around £4.5bn of funds under management, according to its website. Its property arm has previously invested in offices, retail and warehouses.