Buy-to-let fund

A BEDFORDSHIRE-based estate agency group will be helping a new investment fund to decide where to buy up to 10,000 properties across the country.

Connells, which has branches in George Street, Hitchin Road and Marsh Road, in Luton and High Street North, Dunstable, has teamed up with fund managers Hearthstone Investments in a buy-to-let partnership.

The fund will, subject to regulatory approval, allow people to invest in buy-to-let to do so through a managed fund rather than buying a home and letting it out themselves.

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Hearthstone’s initial fund will be the UK’s first PAIF (Property Authorised Investment Fund) to specialise in residential property. Individuals will be able to invest their pensions and ISAs in the fund to benefit from rental income and the long term growth in the housing market.

Connells, based in Leighton Buzzard, will advise on all property purchases made by the fund through its specialist Investor Sales Division. Stuart Flavell, chief executive of Connells, said: “The UK’s love affair with property ownership is as strong as ever but until now there hasn’t been a way of investing in residential property other than direct property ownership

“Connells’ investment in Hearthstone marks an innovative new approach to property investment. Property is a lucrative asset class and we believe many people will be interested in investing in this new fund when it launches.” The launch is expected to be in the second quarter of this year.

As part of the partnership, Connells estate agency will play a leading role in advising Hearthstone where it should be investing the fund to get the best yield. Hearthstone will be acquiring up to 10,000 properties across the UK, from new homes developments to second-hand across a range of property types.

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