Urban Splash has announced a partnership with Japan’s biggest housebuilder, Sekisui House, which they hope will accelerate the delivery of modular homes in the UK.
As part of the £90m deal, Sekisui will invest £55m into Urban Splash’s ‘House’ development business which they hope will provide a significant boost to the UK’s modular housing industry and speed up production.
Sekisui House has invested £22m of new equity, with £30m of equity and debt funding coming from the Government’s Home Building Fund, administered through Homes England.
Noel McKee, founder of We Buy Any Car, has also made a ‘sizeable’ investment in the new partnership and will take around a 5% stake in the company.
Yoshihiro Nakai, President and Representative Director of Sekisui House Ltd said: ‘We are extremely pleased to be able to work together with Homes England and Urban Splash to establish our operations and help to create outstanding communities in the UK.
‘Using modern methods of construction to build high-quality homes with short build times is one of our company’s great strengths. Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK, and I want to see us play our part effective immediately.
‘These operations can also help bring vitality to UK regions, and we will work to make the strongest connections with the local communities.’
Sir Edward Lister, Chair of Homes England, added: ‘When Homes England launched last year we said we’d disrupt the housing market to increase the pace of construction. By helping bring one of the world’s largest and most innovative housebuilders to UK shores, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.
‘By creating a more diverse landscape – where smaller builders such as Urban Splash get a stronger foothold – we’re rebuilding the building industry; driving up quality and improving consumer choice.’
Many councils, including Leeds and Birmingham, believe modular could be a solution to the growing social housing waiting list for people who require one-bed or two-bed properties.
However, with Shelter saying 1.2 million new council homes need to be built, UK councils have been slow to adopt modular into their social housing stock.
Read Environment Journal’s recent report on why modular housing hasn’t taken off in the same way in Scandinavian countries.
Photo credit – Urban Splash