Modular home construction in the UK is set to receive a shake-up with Sekisui House, Japan’s biggest house builder, set to enter the market with immediate effect after striking a multi-million pound deal, it has been announced.
The deal will see thousands of new homes built across England, boosting investment in the UK housing market by £90 million, with the firm working alongside Homes England and regeneration company Urban Splash.
Using modern methods of construction, Sekisui will take a 35% equity stake in Urban Splash’s modular house business, and the new homes will be pre-fabricated in factories and shipped out to sites. This will speed up the production of homes in the UK whilst providing a timely financial boost to the modular housing industry.
The investment of equity made my Sekisui House amounts to £22 million, with the government’s home building find providing a further £30 million of equity and debt, administered through Homes England.
‘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,’ said Yoshihiro Nakai, president and representative director of Sekisui House Ltd.
‘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,’ he added.
Housing Minister Kit Malthouse says that modern methods of construction are transforming home building, and Sekisui House have a proven track record in harnessing and utilising these methods.
‘Backed by Government investment, the 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,’ he added.
Meanwhile, significant financial support and expertise provided by Homes England is said to have been instrumental in ensuring that the deal could be completed, with investors suitably assured that this was the best option.
‘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,’ said Sir Edward Lister, chair of Homes England.
‘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,’ he added.
Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, said that the UK house building industry now has a real opportunity to make significant progress. ‘We hope to leverage our 25 years of place making experience and our recent investments into modular housing by bringing in new partners,’ he explained.
‘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,’ he pointed out.
‘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,’ he added.