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Modular home construction gets boost in UK with Japan’s biggest house builder

Japan’s biggest house builder Sekisui House will move into the UK residential market with immediate effect after striking a multi-million pound deal, it has been announced.

It that will see it work with Homes England and regeneration company Urban Splash to deliver thousands of new homes across England, giving an £90 million investment boost to the UK housing market.

Under the deal Sekisui take a 35% equity stake in Urban Splash’s modular house business and the new homes delivered will use modern methods of construction where homes are built in factories and then shipped out to sites.

It provides a significant boost to the UK’s modular housing industry and will help to speed up production of much-needed new homes.

Sekisui House have invested £22 million of new equity, with £30 million of equity and debt funding coming from the Government’s Home Building Fund, administered through Homes England.

‘Using modern methods of construction to build high quality homes with short build times is one of our company’s great strengths. Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK,’ said Yoshihiro Nakai, president and representative director of Sekisui House Ltd.

‘I want to see us play our part effective immediately. These operations can also help bring vitality to UK regions, and we will work to make the strongest connections with the local communities,’ he added.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse said that Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building.

‘Backed by Government investment, the announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership,’ he added.

Homes England, the Government’s housing accelerator, has been instrumental in providing significant financial support and expertise to the new partnership as well as providing assurance to the investors.

‘When Homes England launched last year we said we’d disrupt the housing market to increase the pace of construction. By helping bring one of the world’s largest and most innovative housebuilders to UK shores, we’re putting our money where our mouth is,’ said Sir Edward Lister, chair of Homes England.

‘By creating a more diverse landscape, where smaller builders such as Urban Splash get a stronger foothold, we’re rebuilding the building industry, driving up quality and improving consumer choice,’ he added.

Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, said that he believes that there is a real opportunity in the UK house building industry. ‘We hope to leverage our 25 years of place making experience and our recent investments into modular housing by bringing in new partners,’ he explained.

‘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,’ he pointed out.

‘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,’ he added.