Lender and investor confidence in ‘financially strong’ social housing sector continues to grow
Scotland’s social housing sector has seen a continued increase in lender and investor confidence and remains financially strong with sufficient access to funding, a new report has found.
According to the Scottish Housing Regulator, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) are making more efficient use of their existing assets to support borrowing for further investment. The increase in funds available to RSLs in 2018/19 was double that in any of the last 10 years.
The report is a summary of the Regulator’s annual analysis of RSLs’ annual loan portfolio returns, which set out their borrowing and funding arrangements. It shows the total investment reached £6 billion for the first time ever.
Undrawn funds available to RSLs have increased by more than 60% to £1.2bn, while 40% of all new finance was from capital markets with MetLife and Handlesbanken becoming new entrants to the sector.
Shaun Keenan, assistant director of regulation, said: “Well-performing, financially healthy RSLs attract greater investment at more competitive rates to invest in the homes and services they provide. So, continued growth in lender confidence and a financially strong sector is good news for tenants and service users.
“Last year, the increase in funds available to RSLs was double that of any of the last 10 years, reaching £6 billion for the first time ever. The sector got 40% of all new investment from capital markets, and attracted two major new investors - MetLife and Handlesbanken.
“RSLs are also making more efficient use of their existing assets to support further borrowing.
“We will continue to work with landlords to deliver effective regulation and to support them in building a culture of self-assurance in their own organisations to continue to build lender confidence and attract investment in homes and services for tenants and service users.”