The PRS REIT has now declared a dividend for the first quarter of this year, having seen the private rented sector (PRS) perform resiliently during the covid-19 pandemic.
The company, which invests in new-build family homes in the PRS, will pay an interim dividend of 1.0p for the period 1 January to 31 March 2020, which in line with previous quarters, having initially deferred the decision.
It said rental income had not been materially affected and the number of completed homes is growing again following the resumption of construction activity. It added rental demand was high and reservations at a strong level.
The group is targeting a total dividend of 4.0p for the current financial year ending 30 June 2020 and a minimum total dividend of 4.0p next year.
Construction activity has now restarted and the group currently has a total of 2,900 homes under varying stages of construction. A further £75m of funding is pending investment, having been deferred in the light of covid-19. It has completed 2,000 homes.
Rent collection and reservations
The company said rent collection had been resilient in the two months of lockdown, with a 97% collection rate in May. Rental demand remains high, it said, with reservations rising weekly since the beginning of May.
The week commencing 1 June saw 88 new reservations across the portfolio, the highest week for reservations this calendar year. There are now over 500 reservations awaiting a moving-in date. These reservations are expected to deliver an additional annual rental income of £4.6m once homes are completed and occupied.
Importantly, rental rates remain unchanged compared to pre-crisis levels.
PRSR : PRS REIT declares dividend after resilient performance through covid-19