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Sigma expands £1 billion PRS finance

Urban regeneration specialist Sigma has expanded its arrangement with Gatehouse Bank, to finance its expanding rental homes portfolio. Gatehouse will now support Sigma towards a larger target of 10,000 rental homes, to be developed over the next five years.

Sigma, which is listed on the AIM junior stock market, is already under way with a first phase of homes across Merseyside and Greater Manchester, investing around £106 million. A quarter of the planned 927 homes are already built or under way, with the first tenants having moved in to their homes in February 2015.

Sigma is working with Countryside Properties to deliver the homes, and is working with Direct Lettings (part of Shepherd Direct and linked to the Century 21 estate agency chain) to arrange rentals. It has also created DifRent, a lettings brand as its customer facing name.

“This is a significant moment for Sigma, which brings to fruition the work we have done with our local authority partners, Gatehouse Bank, Countryside and Shepherd Direct to establish our Private Rented Sector model,” said Sigma chief executive Graham Barnet.

“I would like to express our thanks to all our partners for their support. We see considerable potential to create one of the largest new build privately rented residential portfolios in the UK and I am delighted that construction of the first phase of over 900 new homes for rent across Greater Manchester and Liverpool is now starting.”
“We believe the joint venture with Gatehouse and our new partnership with Grainger plc firmly establishes blueprints for further large scale housing programmes across cities throughout England with other partners and additional local authorities.”