Japanese housebuilder strikes £90m deal to deliver offsite homes

Japan’s biggest housebuilder is to enter the UK housing market after striking a £90m deal with Homes England and Urban Splash to deliver thousands of new homes.

The deal sees Sekisui House, which factory-builds homes before shipping them out to sites, take a share of regeneration company Urban Splash’s “House” development business.

It involves a total investment of £55m into the House business, with Sekisui investing £22m of new equity, with another £30m of new equity and debt funding coming from the government’s Home Building Fund, administered through Homes England.

Entrepreneur Noel McKee, founder of We Buy Any Car, has also made a “sizeable” investment in the new partnership and will take an incremental stake of around 5%.

Yoshihiro Nakai, president and representative director of Sekisui House 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.”

House is expected to deliver thousands of homes across England using modern methods of construction.

Disrupting the housing market

Sir Edward Lister, chair of Homes England, said: “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.”

Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, said: “We believe that there is a real opportunity in the UK housebuilding industry. We hope to leverage our 25 years of place-making experience and our recent investments into modular housing by bringing in new partners; having looked far and wide we chose Sekisui House from Japan because of the company’s unrivalled global experience in modular construction and shared values and philosophy that we are making homes not units, and a joint belief in the need for a green future.

“We are incredibly excited about the accelerated production of much-needed homes and evolving traditional practices as we embrace the benefits of innovative offsite construction. I hope it will establish us as the housing partner of choice for landowners – both public and private.”

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