Japan’s biggest housebuilder, Sekisui House, will move into the UK housing market, after striking a multi-million pound deal that will see it work with Homes England and Urban Splash on the delivery of thousands of new homes across the country.

The news is a boost to UK housebuilding efforts, as the government pledged to ensure the building of 300,000 new homes each year by the 2020s, in its spring statement earlier this year. The government previously put £500 million aside, to aid in the funding of modular homes.

Sekisui House, one of the world’s leading housebuilders, will offer a boost to house building in the UK, according to a recent government press release. The £90 million deal includes a total new investment of £55 million, which goes into regeneration company Urban Splash’s modular house development business.

LIS Show – MPU

Modular homes are built in factories and then shipped out to sites – this process of housebuilding is believed to speed up production of much-needed new homes.

A new partnership

Sekisui House have invested £22 million of new equity, with £30 million of equity and debt funding coming from the Government’s Home Building Fund, which is administered through Homes England.

Noel McKee, entrepreneur and founder of We Buy Any Car, has also made a significant investment in the new partnership and will take an incremental 5 per cent stake.

Outstanding communities in the UK

Yoshihiro Nakai, president and representative director of Sekisui House Ltd, commented: “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.”

Mr Nakai also believed that successful operation can also help bring vitality to UK regions and committed to building strong connections with the local communities.

Modern methods of construction.

Kit Malthouse, minister of state for Housing, said: “Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building. Backed by Government investment, today’s announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership.”

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.”

Sir Edward also commented that by creating a more diverse landscape, this will alter the industry and drive up quality and improve consumer choice.

The future is modular

Tom Bloxham MBE, chairman of Urban Splash, commented: “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.”

Bloxham added: “We are also proud to partner with Homes England – part of the UK Government – because of their commitment to modular and desire to grow capacity in the UK housing business.

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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Jim Kersey
Jim focuses on the socio-economic impact of housing. His reporting for Property Notify often touches on topics such as changes in sentiment among investors in various housing sectors, as well as the impact of various developments on the average person.

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