MORhomes issues inaugural £250m benchmark bond

MORhomes PLC, the new funding agency owned by 62 housing associations, is pleased to announce that it has issued its inaugural £250m benchmark bond issue funding 19 year loans to 9 registered provider groups in England and Wales. The bond is being launched via MORhomes’ unique sterling Social Bond Programme.

The price has been fixed at 98.95, to give a yield on the bonds of 3.476%.

The bonds carry a 3.4% coupon paid semi-annually and have a redemption date of 19th February 2038.

S&P has rated MORhomes and its programme A- with a positive outlook. In the rating analysis, S&P highlights MORhomes strong financial profile and structure which mitigates credit risk. S&P considers that the rating could be upgraded within two years if the Company meets its business plan.

The Programme also benefits from a second party opinion from Sustainalytics on its compliance with Social Bond principals.

Neil Hadden, Chair of MORhomes, said today:

“After two year’s hard work by MORhomes, its advisers and its inaugural group of borrowers, I am thrilled to see this project come to fruition. It shows that the sector continues to innovate in finding new ways to access the funding to support the development of new homes.”

Statement from the borrowers:

“We are delighted to be part of MORhomes’ inaugural bond issue raising much needed funds for social housing. MORhomes offers additional benefits to borrowers including: –

  • Flexibility to borrow in amounts from £10m upwards – saving the cost of having to borrow larger amounts which might be more than is needed at any one time
  • Quick access to the market, reducing uncertainty over the price of funds
  • Flexibility on types of security offered and efficient use of security
  • Simple documentation and reduced costs and resources in going to the market
  • No onerous corporate financial covenants
  • Transparent predictable credit process and annual credit limit.

These benefits have a real impact on the overall cost of financing – over and above the headline rate – and the resources required to raise funds.

MORhomes is an initiative created by the Housing Association sector, for the Housing Association sector. As borrowers we are also shareholders and recognise the wider benefits of committing to this important new funding vehicle. We are proud to be supporting MORhomes’ first issue and look forward to working alongside shareholder colleagues to ensure that MOR Homes continues to raise finance for the sector.”