The UK’s first social housing real estate investment trust (Reit) has offered investors direct exposure to a sector historically closed to them.
Civitas Social Housing’s £350 million ($433.2 million) IPO makes it the first social housing Reit to list on the London Stock Exchange. Because the listing’s underlying assets include social housing which is, to some extent, underpinned by a government guarantee, lawyers on the deal say it’s a form of public-private partnership.
“At the moment there are only limited ways for retail investors to invest in housing. So hopefully this will be the start of a new sector, in the same way as infrastructure and renewable funds,” said Norton Rose Fulbright partner Michael Newell, who advised Civitas.
The idea is to attract private sector cash into a vehicle that can partner with housing associations and local...