Funding available to RSLs tops £5bn as lenders and investors continue to invest

A continuing appetite by lenders and investors to invest in social housing in Scotland is the main finding of a report published by the Scottish Housing Regulator.

A summary of the Regulator’s annual analysis of RSLs’ annual loan portfolio returns, which set out their borrowing and funding arrangements, shows that funds available to RSLs saw the highest increase (6.8%) in 10 years, topping £5 billion for the first time.

Nearly half of all new investment came from capital markets including two major new investors - HSBC, and BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager.

The total debt of RSLs has also increased, growing 4.2% since last year to reach £3.91bn.

Shaun Keenan, assistant director of financial regulation, said: “RSLs need access to funds at competitive rates to be able to invest in the homes and services they provide for their tenants and service users. So continued lender and investor confidence is good news.”

He added: “As RSLs work to contribute to the Scottish Government’s target to deliver 50,000 new homes by 2021, lender confidence will remain crucial.

“We know that well-performing, financially healthy RSLs attract funders and our regulation, together with their own due diligence, brings important assurance for lenders and investors. We will continue to work to provide assurance through regulation and to support landlords in building a strong culture of assurance in their own organisations.”

The Regulator’s summary report and a detailed analysis are now available.

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