IMMO, Europe’s first technology-led residential real estate investment platform, has embarked on a £1bn (€1.18bn) shopping spree to buy and retrofit 3,000 homes across the UK so they meet the requirements of the government’s minimum energy performance of homes bill.
The company said it would bring the homes it acquires up to an EPC C rating “where possible” and rent them out.
Research carried out by the UK government estimates the average cost to upgrade a privately rented property to an EPC C rating in the UK to be around £7,650, meaning IMMO’s acquisition plans could save homeowners, landlords and taxpayers a collective £25m.
IMMO uses artificial intelligence and its own proprietary technology to identify, acquire, retrofit and manage existing homes.
In April, the company raised $75m (€74m) in equity in what was Europe’s largest ever series B proptech funding round. The cash will be invested in growing the business and refining the tech that powers IMMO’s platform.
In total, IMMO has raised more than $2.5bn (€2.45bn) in capital commitments from institutional investors, including pension funds and insurance companies, to invest in single-family rental housing in Europe.
Retrofitting Britain’s housing stock, which is some of the oldest in Europe, will help the government meet its ambitious net-zero targets. Trustmark analysis suggests that 24m homes in the UK are in need of some form of retrofitting.
Anna Clare Harper, head of sustainability at IMMO, said: “Britain has some of Europe’s oldest and least efficient housing stock. The scale of the retrofitting challenge is huge, with a potential price tag running into the billions.
“The built environment is one of the worst offenders when it comes to carbon emissions. Without a programme of mass retrofitting, the UK will not be able to meet its net-zero targets.
“Public investment and regulations play an important role in bringing Britain’s housing up to modern energy efficiency standards. The private sector also plays an important role. Institutional investors such as pension funds and insurers are increasingly on the hunt for assets that produce reliable, long-term income streams to match their liabilities in a way that is socially and environmentally responsible.
”As a result, we have an historic opportunity to harness the power of technology and data to match long-term investments with the challenge of greening Britain’s housing stock to provide socially and environmentally responsible homes.”
IMMO has plans to secure additional institutional capital on top of its existing $2.5bn in existing commitments.
The additional funds raised by IMMO will also be deployed into ‘upcycling’ private rented properties into modern, energy-efficient homes, meaning the potential saving to UK households - or the government - could be far greater than the initial £25m.
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