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Japan’s biggest homebuilder takes stake in Urban Splash’s ‘House’

Japan’s biggest homebuilder is heading to the UK after forming a new partnership with Urban Splash and Homes England.

Sekisui House has acquired a 35% equity stake in the Liverpool-founded company’s ‘House’ modular concept which allows customers to personalise their new home.

Headquartered in Osaka, Sekisui House was founded in 1960 and as of July 2018, had built over 2.4 million homes.

The company is described as a pioneer of modern construction methods where homes are built in factories and then shipped out to sites.

The £90m deal, which has been facilitated by JLL, comprises a total new investment of £55m into Urban Splash’s ‘House’.

Sekisui has invested £22m of new equity, with £30m of 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 made a sizeable investment in the new partnership and will take an incremental 5% stake. Channel 4 architect George Clarke has also invested.

Winner in the ‘large scheme’ category at the 2017 NWPAs, ‘House’ is Urban Splash’s range of modular build homes which are personalised by customers.

Properties are currently for sale in Birmingham, Manchester and North Shields – with 347 houses planned as part of the Wirral Waters development.

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