Developer Gurner and property investment manager Qualitas have raised $1.2 billion in the latest closing of its GQ build-to-rent platform, exceeding its $1 billion target.  

The GQ platform will use the capital to build 1,700 apartments already under the group’s control and buy further BTR assets with a focus on Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. 

The platform will build its first asset on a 2,049 sqm site in Parramatta, Sydney that Gurner and Qualitas purchased earlier this month. 

The $450 million, 385-residence project will feature 61 levels and likely include 4,000 sqm of retail and commercial space, and a rooftop facility. 

Qualitas global head of real estate and co-founder Mark Fischer said they were anticipating strong and growing demand for high-quality build-to-rent assets across Australia, as population growth and declining home ownership fuelled the need for quality rental stock. 

“The build-to-rent sector is perfectly aligned to our focus on assets generating defensive and resilient cashflows and we are seeing global institutional investors increasingly allocating capital to investment strategies supported by these themes,” he said.  

“With majority of the capital now allocated we will soon be commencing another round of capital raising in the coming months as we look to aggressively grow the size of the fund, and as we prepare to commence construction across various projects in the next 12 months,” said Gurner founder and director Tim Gurner.  

“We will be delivering product reflective of our intrinsic focus – aspirational, market-leading luxury residences, in prime locations that foster sought-after lifestyles. 

“We are now heavily focused on the Sydney market in particular for further sites to build the portfolio.  

“With market penetration across the eastern seaboard we can create the largest and most sought-after platform in Australia, which is certainly our ambition.” 

The fund raising was cornerstoned by a global institutional investor alongside co-investment from both Qualitas and Gurner.  

The platform’s aim is to create a $5 billion portfolio with more than 5,000 units under management in the coming years.  

The fundraising follows Macquarie’s plans to fund a new build-to-rent platform that will invest more than $500 million into BTR projects in Australia.