US-based asset management firm BlackRock has agreed a £362.5m debt facility with Heylo Housing for the acquisition of 3,000 shared ownership properties.
For-profit social housing provider Heylo has agreed £262m index-linked and £100m fixed-rate facilities over 25 years.
The 3,000 shared ownership properties will be available through Heylo’s Home Reach scheme, which aims to expand the pool of eligible homebuyers. The scheme does this by helping homebuyers to acquire a share in their home with equity and a mortgage and pay long-term, inflation-linked rent to lease the remaining share.
BlackRock Real Assets, the real estate and infrastructure arm of BlackRock, has now invested 18 times in the UK residential sector with £1.1bn so far committed.
The 3,000-home portfolio includes properties in the North West, the South West and Yorkshire. BlackRock said most have been completed and purchased in the past three years and comprise semi-detached houses, terraced houses, purpose-built flats and detached houses under different social housing schemes.
Jonathan Stevens, head of European infrastructure debt at BlackRock, said: “The transaction demonstrates BlackRock’s ability to provide sizeable, flexible debt solutions and our pursuit of investments aligned with clients’ ESG commitments.”
The acquisition follows Vistry Group’s decision to commit 1,000 homes to the Home Reach programme, with a gross open market valuation of approximately £300m. They will be delivered over a two-year build programme across 89 sites within 62 local authorities.
Another major developer, Crest Nicholson, announced last month that it would introduce a new shared ownership product to be sold via the Home Reach scheme, which involves house builders converting private homes into shared ownership properties.
Wayne Bennett, national partnership director at Heylo, said: “Continuous engagement with our investors, Homes England and our house builder partners has meant that Home Reach is now a widely recognised mainstream product suite sitting alongside Help to Buy and part exchange.
“Housing supply continues to lag demand and so we’re focused on the win-win-win: helping house builders build and sell the right mix of stock; enabling more people to get on in life and enjoy homeownership; and creating attractive, high-quality investment returns for providers of capital.”
Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Vistry Group, said: “Delivering affordable quality homes with a broad mix of tenures is embedded in our sustainability strategy.”