A Shift in Housing Supply

26th January, 2022

Ilke Homes has raised £60million to scale-up its operations and deliver an ambitious five-year plan that could put them on course to become a top ten housebuilder within the next five years by delivering 10,000 factory-built homes.

The £60million is split between £30million debt from government agency Homes England and £30million of equity from multiple new investors. The Guinness Partnership, one of the UK’s largest providers of affordable housing and a customer of ilke Homes, is one of the new equity investors.

The housing association has signed two deals with ilke Homes in the last year, for sites that will deliver 250 factory-built homes. Tech-focused family office Middleton Enterprises and private equity firm Sun Capital have also taken equity stakes. TDR Capital has also injected further equity. Stephen Robertson, Founding Partner at TDR Capital, said: “Precisionengineering housing will be a critical solution to greening cities and with housing needs continuing to significantly outstrip supply, we are also confident that this sector is immensely scalable.”

The £30million of debt comes via a facility from Homes England’s Home Building Fund. The Government’s housing agency invested an initial £30million into ilke Homes back in 2019, which marked the first time the agency had ever directly invested to boost an offsite manufacturer’s production capacity, with the latest round demonstrating that ministers remain prepared to take genuinely innovative steps to intervene in the housing crisis by creating meaningful supply-side incentives to increase house building capacity.

Harry Swales, Chief Investment Officer at Homes England, said: “Manufacturers like ilke Homes are vital if developers are to build new sustainable homes at the pace and scale the country needs. This debt facility from the Home Building Fund shows our commitment in increasing productivity and efficiency in construction to meet government’s housing delivery ambitions.”

The new funding will be transformational for ilke Homes, allowing the company to invest heavily in automating more of its manufacturing processes to drive efficiencies, secure more sites and expand its ‘package deal’ strategy, which offers full development service of site, infrastructure and homes in a rapidly growing market. Both housing associations and build-torent operators are looking to scale up delivery of homes over the next few years, and the potential to deliver modern homes quickly and sustainably is an attractive proposition.

Stephen Stone, a board member of ilke Homes who floated FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson in 2013 while CEO, said: “This announcement proves that there is a shared ambition among the public and private sectors to find innovative solutions to structural issues that have dogged the construction and housebuilding industries for decades. This new funding will help us create hundreds more highly-skilled, green jobs for an economy that is gearing up for a Green Industrial Revolution.”

The monies will also be used to scale-up production and accelerate capacity to deliver up to eight homes a day, up from two today – all helping to bring down manufacturing costs in the process. The homes delivered are also highly energy-efficient, with the company, as part of its ilke ZERO offering which was launched this year, able to deliver thousands of zero-carbon homes a year for a mix of institutional investors, private developers, housing associations and councils.

Catriona Simons, Group Chief Executive at The Guinness Partnership, adds: “Our investment in like Homes demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering high-quality, energy-efficient homes as quickly as possible, to those who need them most. Having partnered with the company on two sites already, we have seen first-hand the benefits ilke Homes’ method of delivery affords – which will help ensure we can continue to play an important and active role to address the housing crisis.”

Speaking about the investment plans, Government MMC Champion Mark Farmer said: “True zero-carbon homes just cannot be delivered at scale through using traditional construction methods and our constrained skills base, we therefore need to move quickly to less resource intensive and higher performing pre-manufactured solutions. However, alongside government support, the private sector increasingly needs to recognise the investment case for change and that is why this announcement as a truly joint public and private financing package for a key market disruptor is so welcome.”

To read the full article, go to Offsite Magazine

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