Lender and investor appetite to fund registered social landlords remains strong, says Regulator


18 December 2020

New analysis from the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) demonstrates continued lender and investor confidence in the Scottish social housing sector. Private investment is continuing to help fund RSLs towards their contribution to the Scottish Government’s target of an extra 35,000 social rented houses by 2021.

SHR's new report on annual loan portfolio returns from RSLs shows that RSLs have a total of £6.2 billion in debt facilities, with £5.2 billion of this debt drawn and £1.0 billion remaining undrawn.

RSLs raised £802 million of new loans during 2019/20 from banks and capital markets. The vast majority was for investment in existing housing and to fund new housing developments. RSLs are also forecasting increased borrowing to fund future development programmes. The report also shows the sector continues to attract new investors.

Shaun Keenan, Assistant Director of Regulation, said: "RSLs require competitively priced funding to continue to develop and invest in housing in Scotland. Our recent discussions with lenders and investors indicate that their appetite to invest in the sector remains strong and this is confirmed by our latest analysis.”

“Last year, total investment continued to increase and reached £6.2 billion. The sector also attracted three new investors - Scottish Widows, Sun Life and the Pension Insurance Corporation. With around £1 billion of undrawn facilities and healthy cash balances the sector is well placed to deal with the immediate financial challenges of COVID-19.”

“Given these challenges it is important that RSLs have an effective approach to Treasury Management, not only to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements but also to deliver best value for their tenants and residents.”

Read the Regulator's report on RSL loan portfolio returns

Notes to editors

  1. The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and eight Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk
  1. SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.