12th May 2022
2022 has already been a record year for Assetz Exchange with over £4 million in property purchased and leased. May to July is looking like it will follow a similar pattern, with over £8 million of property with offers made and a lease agreement in place, including a £2.5 million property due to launch in July, and several exciting partner discussions underpinning the pipeline in the second half of the year.
Our focus remains on providing long term, stable investment properties – at a typical yield of between 5-6% at launch – and the opportunity to provide accommodation with social impact.
Our partnership with Golden Lane Housing has gone from strength to strength. We have had a steady stream of shared and single user supported living schemes launching on the platform over the past few months and with a further 8 schemes in the pipeline. With Golden Lane Housing having recently been affirmed with the highest rating from the Regulator of Social Housing this is an extremely secure counterparty with which to be partnering. This can give investors added security that this provider has been scrutinised and passed with flying colours in the provision of much needed supported housing for people with learning disabilities and autism.
We have been having extremely productive conversations as they look to provision more blocks of self-contained units in line with demand from local authorities. We hope to bring development schemes that have been approved by local authority care commissioners to the platform in the coming months, where Golden Lane Housing have been selected as the preferred registered provider. This will offer investors a greater choice of property type when building their investment portfolio.
You can learn more about the work we have been doing with Golden Lane Housing by reading an excerpt of a recent webinar we ran with them. Click here to read the article and access a recording of the full webinar.
Although smaller than Golden Lane Housing we are starting to grow our relationship with Halo Housing Association. They are particularly active in the North of England and the Midlands.
After the successful launch of a shared housing scheme for five residents with Autism in Telford last year we have recently added a block of apartments in a leafy area of the Wirral to the platform. This provides a home for seven residents with learning disabilities and was bought with residents in situ. We are just entering legals for another existing scheme that consists of a cluster of self contained units in Southport as well as in the early stages of assessing a scheme in North Nottinghamshire that is in the process of being converted from a care home into supported living for six residents. Both these schemes also cater for the needs of some residents with physical disabilities such as widened doorways and ramp access.
It is worth noting that the schemes of this nature will always have support from the care commissioner from the local authority (or similar assurances) and will have also been rent tested by the housing association. This is how we know there is local demand for the scheme and also that the rent is eligible as ‘exempt’. When classed as ‘exempt’ this means that the full rental amount can be claimed back by the housing association through the housing benefit system.
The largest £2.5m property due to launch in July was originally built as student accommodation. We have just had confirmation in a pre-application planning report that Southampton City Council are likely to relax the restriction on it being student accommodation. We have to still go through a change of use application but if successful this will allow us to complete this purchase and lease to IHL to use for a homelessness scheme. This will provide much needed accommodation to very vulnerable individuals in line with the local plan.
We are also in legals for a similar scheme with IHL in Hyde near Manchester, although only 9 units. While these schemes are not commissioned IHL has many years of experience in running these types of schemes and tapping into the extremely high demand for this type of accommodation.
Nacro are expanding one of their government backed schemes and have asked for our help to source properties, with the south east of England being a particular priority. As mentioned in previous updates, the sourcing of these properties has been challenging but we are hoping with new areas of focus we can achieve some success in this regard.
Entering the residential care homes sector
We are also in discussions regarding our first purchases in the non elderly residential care sector and are negotiating for two care homes let to a private, well established, healthcare provider of mental health services. While these need to be converted prior to purchase, we believe these investments will complement our offering in the supported living space and would launch onto the platform in the latter part of the year, should negotiations prove successful.
We hope that some of these opportunities will move from the early-stage pipeline to a more advanced stage in the next few months.
We continue to have discussions with organisations that are keen to work with us and feel our model can offer them real value so please keep an eye on our pipeline page for the latest updates.
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