3 June 2020: Stonewater strikes £23m modular deal with Ilke Homes

Stonewater has agreed a £23m deal with Ilke Homes that will see the modular specialist deliver 120 properties for the landlord.

Ilke craning in module in Hull

The factory-built homes will be installed at a derelict former trading estate in Hereford, after being built in Ilke’s North Yorkshire facility.

The deal is part of a new “turnkey” approach by Homes England-backed Ilke that involves the specialist buying land to develop on before selling it to the client. It is part of Ilke’s bid to become a fully integrated developer, having opened new offices in London, Birmingham and Bristol.

Matthew Bench, Ilke’s executive director of partnerships, who joined from Crest Nicholson last year, said the "turnkey" approach means it can "quickly scale-up the delivery of high-quality, energy-efficient affordable housing across the country".

The tie-up is the second high profile deal Ilke has struck with a housing association after it signed up Places for People in a £100m agreement a year ago - the biggest modular deal to date.

Modular housing firms have long trumpeted the benefits of factory-built homes, pointing to the faster speed that units can be delivered and savings on residents’ energy bills.

However high profile players in the market such as Ilke, Legal & General and Goldman Sachs-backed Top Hat have all racked up significant losses due to start-up costs.

But the government has stepped up its backing of the sector to tackle the housing crisis. Last November Homes England invested £30m in Ilke Homes.

Stonewater, which operates 32,500 properties, is also a strategic partner to Homes England and in partnership with Guinness was awarded £224m in 2018 to deliver 4,500 new affordable homes by 2022.

Matthew Crucefix, director of development (West) at Stonewater, said: “As we face the current coronavirus pandemic it has never been more important to do all we can to increase housing supply where it is safe to do so.

"This scheme is exactly the type of progressive development opportunity that will help meet the challenge we face to provide the affordable homes needed to tackle the housing crisis.”

All 120 homes on the Hereford site will be available for either affordable rent or shared ownership.

Last month Stonewater completed a deal to acquired 731 homes from Southern Housing Group as part of a stock transfer. The properties are spread across Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

You can read the full article on Inside Housing website.