DEAL: Civitas Social Housing IPO

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 20 Dec 2016

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.

Social homes are desperately needed in the UK
“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...