Press releases

Legal & General completes largest residential investment in Northern Ireland

The investment, on behalf of Legal & General Retirement Institutional (“LGRI"), is L&G’s first Build to Rent (BTR) investment in Northern Ireland and marks the largest real estate investment in the region for 20 years .

5 Jun 2023

Full press release

Loft Lines CGI

Legal & General (‘L&G’) today announces the funding of a £150m residential development in Belfast, Northern Ireland, committing to the largest residential investment in the region which will fund the development of 627 new homes – addressing soaring rental demand in the region.

The 627 homes form part of a residential development, known as Loft Lines, located within the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, on the banks of the River Lagan and by the Titanic Belfast Museum. On completion, the Build to Rent scheme will be made up of a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bed apartments, including resident facilities such as a gym, dedicated work from home space, podium gardens and terraces, and will include c. 11,000sqft of commercial space.

Loft Lines will be developed by Watkin Jones in partnership with Lacuna Developments, with completion expected in 2026.

According to Belfast City Housing Land Summary, there have been 363 rental homes completed in Belfast City Centre since 2015[2]. The 627 homes funded by L&G will represent a 172% increase in total housing delivery since 2015. With a positive economic forecast and strong growth in Northern Ireland Belfast looks to represent an increasingly attractive city for Build to Rent investment.

Loft Lines is set to not only respond to the rental supply and demand imbalance in Belfast, but also transform the region’s city centre living offer. Marking the first combined Build to Rent and mixed tenure affordable housing scheme in the region, Loft Lines will include an additional 151 affordable homes, funded and operated by Clanmil Housing Association. With a total of 778 new waterfront homes – comprising 627 BTR and 151 affordable homes – the Loft Lines scheme will repurpose the current brownfield site, and further catalyse the regeneration of Titanic Quarter.

The Titanic Quarter is one of Europe’s largest waterfront urban regeneration areas. It is well connected, owing to a £150m Rapid Transport System delivered in 2018, to improve the efficiency of mass transit in the city. With an abundance of local amenities, employers including multi-national businesses, and cultural destinations within close proximity of the site, there is a thriving community and strong labour market – resulting in significant demand for high-quality residential property.

Legal & General remain committed to helping drive regional economic growth, in order to improve lives and deliver positive social outcomes. This investment follows several years in which Legal & General’s involvement in the development and regeneration of the regions has grown rapidly. Using dynamic partnerships with the public and private sector to level up regional economies, Legal & General has so far invested over £30bn[3] into direct investments such as clean energy, transport infrastructure and multi-tenure homes.

L&G’s investment in Loft Lines follows a string of investments made by LGIM’s BTR platform which now totals over 9,000 apartments under construction or in operation[4] (as at June 2023). L&G were advised by CBRE.

[1] CBRE transactional data tracker

[2] Belfast City Council Housing Land Availability Report

[3] Over one-in-ten UK households have nothing left to cut back on in the face of further energy price rises, Legal & General finds, 2022

[4], as at June 2023

Dan Batterton, Head of Residential at Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets “Building on the significant momentum behind our BTR platform and its recent investments across major UK cities, we are excited to be entering a new market in Belfast. This latest scheme, our first in Northern Ireland, is an important and significant step to help address an enduring regional housing crisis and clear imbalance of supply and demand. We believe greater investment in our regional cities, particularly to deliver new homes, is needed. The Build to Rent sector has an important role to play here, providing net-additional homes that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Our investment into this region demonstrates not only our confidence in the market but L&G’s continued commitment to level-up our towns and cities.”

“Our continued focus on BTR investments is testament to the asset class’s resilience in the face of ongoing macro-economic pressures. It’s promising to see that investors continue to understand the value in tapping into the demand for high quality rental property, in a sector that has continued to see substantial and sustained growth.”

Andrew Kail, CEO, Legal & General Retirement Institutional “We are thrilled to announce our BTR development in Belfast, which marks the largest residential investment in Northern Ireland. This significant milestone is a great example of how we’re investing in socially-useful, economically attractive assets and using pension savings to create vibrant and sustainable living environments. Our investment will further elevate what is already one of the most exciting and dynamic urban regeneration areas in Europe, and will help to stimulate job creation, as well as drive economic growth for local businesses.”

Further information

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Jessye Brandon

Senior PR Executive

LGIM Real Assets

T: 07584498775

Email Jessye Brandon

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management (as at FY23) of which c40% (circa £0.5 trillion) is international.

We have a highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. We are a leading international player in Institutional Retirement, in Retail Savings and Protection, and in both public and private markets through our Asset Management division. Across the Group, we are committed to responsible investing and dedicated to serving the long-term savings and investment needs of customers and society.

As at 7 June 2024, we estimate the Group’s Solvency II coverage ratio to be 224%.

As at 11 June 2024, Legal & General has a market capitalisation of £14.6 billion.

LGIMRA is a division of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), one of Europe’s largest
institutional asset managers and a major global investor. LGIM manages £1.29 trillion1 ($1.57tn) in
assets, working with a range of global clients, including pension schemes, sovereign wealth funds, fund distributors and retail investors.

LGIM Real Assets has assets under management of £36 billion2 ($43.8bn) and is one of the largest
private markets investment managers in the UK. Investing in both debt and equity and across the
risk/return spectrum, LGIM Real Assets actively invests in and manages assets across commercial,
operational and residential property sectors, as well as infrastructure, real estate, corporate and
alternative debt.

Taking a long-term view in order to future proof our investments, LGIM Real Assets continues to lead the industry in ESG performance, considering all environmental, social and governance issues at asset level as well as portfolio level.

1LGIM internal data as at 30 June 2022. These figures include assets managed by LGIMA, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Data includes derivative positions.
2Source: LGIM Real Assets. AUM data as at 30 June 2022.

*at 13 Jan 2023


For professional clients only. Past performance is not a guide to the future. The value of an investment and any income taken from it is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up, you may not get back the amount you originally invested. Views expressed are of LGIM as at 12 January 2023. The Information in this document (a) is for information purposes only and we are not soliciting any action based on it, and (b) is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities or pursue a particular investment strategy; and (c) is not investment, legal, regulatory or tax advice. Legal & General Investment Management Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 02091894. Registered Office: One Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5AA. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, No. 119272.