Inside Housing – News – Guernsey-based real estate investor registers for-profit with RSH

A Guernsey-based real estate financier has become the latest investor to register a for-profit social housing provider.

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A Guernsey-based real estate financier has become the latest investor to register a for-profit social housing provider #UKhousing

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) last week updated its list of registered providers to include RealHousingCo Limited.

RealHousingCo was incorporated from a London office in February 2019 and is wholly owned by Alpha Real Trust Limited.

According to its website, Alpha Real Trust “currently focuses on asset-backed lending, debt investments and high-return property investments in Western Europe that are capable of delivering strong risk adjusted cash flows”.

The firm’s accounts show its assets had a net value of £126m at 31 March 2021, with RealHousingCo representing 0.5%.

Most of Alpha Real Trust’s investments are in residential property with a focus on London and the South East of England, though it also owns a 30% stake in a shopping centre in Madrid.

RealHousingCo was registered with the English regulator on 1 July.

In July last year, veteran housing association consultant and chief executive Owen Ingram was appointed as a director of the company.

Mr Ingram was drafted in to help oversee the wind down of Prospect Housing, an exempt accommodation provider with a rare ‘G4’ grading for governance from the RSH, the lowest possible.

RealHousingCo’s founding director was Bradley Bauman, who remains on the board.

Mr Bauman is a partner at Alpha Real Capital, the investment manager for Alpha Real Trust. He was previously executive director of real estate investment banking at Lehman Brothers.

Accounts for RealHousingCo covering February 2019 to March 2020 show it had assets worth £610,345 and liabilities of £754,328 – the vast majority of which were owed to Alpha Real Trust.

It made a £143,984 loss off of a £11,486 turnover over the period and had three employees – all of which were directors.

Neither Alpha Real Trust nor Alpha Real Capital responded to requests for comment.

The past few years have seen a proliferation of for-profit providers entering the social housing sector, primarily registered by equity investors or developers.

For-profit providers owned just under 10,000 social homes in England at the end of 2019/20, up from around 5,000 a year earlier, with that figure thought to have doubled again in the time since.

Last week’s update to the RSH’s register also included the addition of Flint Housing, a for-profit set up by former bosses of house builder Crest Nicholson.

In June, a for-profit named Grevayne Social Housing Limited was registered, which is owned by small Stratford-upon-Avon-based developer Grevayne Properties.

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