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Placefirst completes £150m refinancing to support ambitious growth plans

4 May 2022

Matter announces Placefirst refinancing and new additions to its team

Matter Real Estate (“Matter”), a direct real estate investment firm focused on value-add and opportunistic real estate across evolving sectors in Northern Europe, announces the £150mn refinancing of Placefirst, an award-winning developer, owner, and operator of high-quality single-family rental (“SFR”) housing in the UK.

The new five-year £150mn debt facility, which has been provided by a strategic lending partner, is part of Placefirst’s plans to reach a total of 6,500 SFR homes across the UK in the coming years. The loan is secured against over 1,000 high-quality stabilised SFR units across 11 different schemes, including Elevate in Manchester, The Welsh Streets in Liverpool, Skye Edge in Sheffield, and other locations in multiple regions.

Matter first backed Placefirst in 2016 and partnered with the management team to provide funding and the expertise required to achieve scale. Since then, numerous projects have commenced and the portfolio has continued to grow, with Placefirst recently hitting an important milestone of 1,500 homes in April 2022. With Matter’s support, Placefirst intends to continue to build on its portfolio, to meet the unmet demand for high-quality SFR homes in the UK. The team is currently reviewing opportunities for 11,000 homes across the country and work is progressing well at numerous live sites. As part of its ramp up for further investment in the UK SFR market and other opportunities, Matter has also strengthened its own team with two additional new hires. Rob McHugh joined as Vice President and Kamran Malik as an Associate. Rob brings over eight years of institutional real estate experience, spanning from his work in Australia, the UK and the Middle East. Kamran joins having begun his career in real estate at RBC Real Estate Capital Partners.

David Christie, CEO at Matter Real Estate, said: “It’s been a record year for growth in our portfolio, and we look forward to continuing to work with Placefirst to support its ambitious growth plans as part of our ongoing commitment to developing high-quality, attainable real estate.

“There is an annual housing shortfall of around 1.2 million homes in the UK, and much of the demand comes from the underserved ‘forgotten majority’ of families outside of large cities such as London. Single family rental, be it attainable or affordable housing, can play an important role in solving this problem and that is why Matter will continue to build and back companies like Placefirst, creating scaled, institutional-quality platforms that can provide high-quality places to live across the UK.

“Single family rental investing is one of those rare examples where financial and social value creation can go hand in hand, and we see significant scope for further investment in the space.”

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