Avant Homes has sold 77 show homes to property investor Moorfield Group for £20m.

The UK property investor has acquired the 93,000 square feet portfolio, located across 29 different sites, from the house-builder which operates in Scotland, the north east of England, Yorkshire and the Midlands, in a sale and leaseback agreement.

Upon acquisition the show homes were immediately leased back to Avant Homes on an average three-year term. When the individual leases expire, Moorfield will either sell the homes on the open market or rent the homes alongside its existing build-to-rent activities. The high-spec show homes occupy prominent locations on each of the estates on which they are located.

Moorfield Group previously worked with Avant Homes in 2013 when they acquired the developer’s Edinburgh city centre £750 million mixed-use Quartermile scheme in 2013 for an undisclosed sum. The group’s investments in the residential sector also include senior living (Audley), Build-to-Rent (More. Superenting) and student accommodation (Domain).

Avant Homes has a turnover of £483 million, five regional offices and employs over 700 people.

Charles Ferguson-Davie, chief investment officer at Moorfield Group, said: “Despite the volatility caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we remain convinced that the residential sector will continue to be a resilient asset class, providing ongoing opportunities to generate outperformance on behalf of our investors. We have pioneered investment into a range of residential use classes and this innovative transaction provides our investors with further diversification.”

Mark Mitchell, Avant Homes chief operating officer, added: “Covid-19 has presented the housebuilding industry with many challenges, which we have responded to dynamically, with the safety and wellbeing of our people as our first priority. Looking ahead, we remain committed to continuing to execute against our growth strategy, underpinned by the resilience and agility of our business, the excellence of our product and the commitment of our people.

“Moorfield Group’s investment is testament to their belief in our ability to continue to succeed. As part of our growth strategy, we are exploring a number of other opportunities with Moorfield Group and hope to be able to reveal more detail about what they are in due course.”