Full Year Results for the Year Ended 31 December 2021
Sage Housing Limited (“Sage”, or the “Company”), a For Profit Registered Provider, today announces its full year results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2021.
The company has had a landmark year, achieving a number of firsts: investing close to £550m (up from £397m in prior year) to deliver 3,287 affordable homes, the highest number ever delivered during a calendar year, and launching a first-of-its-kind sustainable rated securitisation, while also investing heavily in sustainability improvements.
This incredible momentum enabled Sage Homes to become England’s largest provider of new-build affordable, energy-efficient homes in 2021.
Established in 2017, Sage is majority owned by funds managed by Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative asset manager and Regis, a specialist real estate investor. Together, they have already committed to provide £4 billion in funding to Sage to support the delivery of over 19,800 affordable homes in England with a target of delivering 30,000 by 2030.
2021 financial and operational highlights
- Sage Homes accelerated its growth and investment in 2021, providing even more much-needed affordable homes across England
- A landmark year for the company as it delivered a record 3,287 new affordable homes to customers, contributing towards it becoming England’s largest provider of new build affordable homes in 2021
- Let 1,818 affordable homes to customers on council waiting lists (compared to 948 in 2020) and sold 1,404 shared ownership homes (compared to 758 in 2020)
- Significantly increased investment in the year to a record £547 million (up from £397 million in 2020)
- Sage continued to expand its capabilities, partnerships and ESG impact
- Achieved strategic investment partner status with Homes England, giving Sage access to £73.5 million of grant funding to deliver 1,750 new affordable homes
- Became an investment partner to the GLA
- Launched new partnerships with Housing Associations across England, including with Barnet Council and Optivo
- Rolled out an enhanced ESG strategy to invest more in social value and improve the portfolio EPC rating (currently 97% A or B ratings)
- Launched a first-of-a-kind sustainable rated securitisation which generated £280 million proceeds to fund new affordable homes
- Augmented its Board with the addition of three new Non-Executive Directors and appointing a Senior Independent Director
- Established a Customer and People Committee and Customer Scrutiny Panel enabling Sage to evolve and target best-in-class customer services
2021 performance continues at pace into 2022
- H1 2022 has continued to be a record period for Sage, Homes building on 2021 achievements
- Set a new target to deliver 30,000 homes by 2030
- Exchanged on 1,847 homes in the six months to 30 June 2022 taking the portfolio (delivered and exchanged) to 19,805 homes
- Unprecedented delivery of new affordable rental homes exclusively for those on council waiting lists with a record 1,061 lettings, up from 579 in the same period last year
- Rebranded to ‘Sage Homes’ and updated the company corporate values as part of a renewed commitment to customers
Alison Thain OBE, Chair, Sage Homes, said: “2021 has been an exciting year where we doubled the size of the Board, enhanced our customer centric approach and invested significant capital enabling us to announce a new target in January 2022 to deliver 30,000 homes by 2030. I am incredibly proud of all our employees and my fellow Board members who are dedicated to serving our customers. Their efforts ensured that Sage Homes not only met the goals we set ourselves, but significantly exceeded them as we continued growing at scale.”
Mark Sater Chief Executive, Sage Homes, said: “We are proud to be England’s largest provider of new build affordable housing in 2021. Our strong financial and operational performance and continued investment has helped deliver a record number of high-quality new sustainable homes for Sage Homes and I am delighted to report that this performance has continued into 2022, as we deliver much-needed homes at scale to those who need them the most. Our customers are at the centre of everything we do and we know we have a vital role to play, particularly at a time when people are facing the challenges of rising costs and financial pressures. I’d like to thank the Board and the whole Sage team for their continued commitment.”
Gemma Kataky, Managing Director, Real Estate at Blackstone, said: “We are incredibly proud of what Sage Homes has achieved in 2021 and into 2022. Blackstone and Regis have supported Sage since its inception in 2017, committing a record £4 billion of investment into the delivery of high-quality, energy efficient and affordable homes in England. We look forward to supporting Sage further to ensure that together, we can play a leading role in increasing access to affordable housing at a time when the need has never been more acute.”
Financial and operational update
2021 was a landmark year for Sage Homes, becoming the largest provider of new-build affordable homes in England in the year and delivering a robust performance despite wider social and economic headwinds.
Sage has made substantial progress in delivering affordable homes in England at a time when there is a chronic shortfall in housing, delivering 3,287 new affordable homes in 2021 - a 52% increase on 2020 – across 179 sites. The year saw good progress across multiple areas of the business. Sage increased the number of lettings by 92% to 1,818 (2020: 948), and the number of shared ownership homes sold rose by 85% to 1,404 (2020: 758), helping more people to realise their aspirations of home ownership.
Delivering high numbers of affordable homes resulted in growth in both rental revenue and shared ownership sales, with total turnover of £174 million, up 85% from £94 million in 2020. As Sage grows, it is focused on increasing its operational efficiency, delivering a £9 million operating profit in 2021.
Sage invested a record total of £547 million into new affordable homes during the year, up from £397 million in 2020. It has strong and continued momentum and has revised its target to deliver 30,000 homes by 2030.
In 2021, Sage strengthened its Board with the appointment of its first Senior Independent Director and three new Non-Executive Directors, bringing greater expertise and diversity as well as a robust risk management and control framework. John Brace became Senior Independent Director in February 2021. Cedi Frederick, Cindy Rampersaud and Gareth Llewellyn joined in June 2021.
Sage Homes is a trusted partner to developers, other registered housing providers, over 220 local authorities, Homes England and the GLA.
Sage was granted strategic investment partner status by Homes England in 2021, securing £73.5 million of grant funding to deliver 1,750 new affordable homes, demonstrating confidence in Sage’s plans from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Our partnership with Homes England has already delivered 413 homes that would otherwise not have been viable.
Sage also became an investment partner to the GLA to deliver projects such as Barnet Council’s Upper and Lower Fosters estate regeneration delivering an 100% affordable housing scheme (142 new homes).
Finally, in 2021, Sage also formed a new partnership with sector leading Housing Association Optivo, which will deliver 420 new affordable homes at sites across London and the South East. This innovative partnership will allow Optivo to invest around £106 million in its existing stock.
Quality customer service
The customer is at the heart of everything Sage Homes does. In 2021, the Company expanded its customer service team, appointing Lucian Smithers as its new Chief Customer Officer, and is focused on improving the customer experience through closer engagement and improved technology.
Sage also established a new Board-level Customer and People Committee and the Sage Customer Scrutiny Panel to provide a strong customer voice within the company, ensure transparency, and improve products and services. In response to rising inflation, Sage has developed a new customer support centre on its website and a Financial Wellbeing team to assist any residents with concerns about the cost of living.
Sage continues to aim for the highest levels of compliance with the Regulator of Social Housing’s standards.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG)
Sage Homes cares about the impact it has on all stakeholders and the planet, and therefore launched a new ESG strategy in 2021 to create socially inclusive, safe, and environmentally friendly places. Already, 97% of Sage homes have Energy Performance Certificate ratings of A or B – estimated to save each household around £900 a year on energy bills*.
In 2021, Sage donated over £45,000 to charity partners Crossroads Derbyshire, Lifeshare, Trussell Trust and Secret Angels. It also provided 1,130 hours of instructor-led training to staff across the company.
During 2022, Sage will be working with partners to trial new low‑carbon technologies and further improve its homes’ energy-efficiency. Sage will also launch a community fund to support local projects and is creating a social impact scale to measure the benefit Sage brings to its local communities.
Strong capital position
2021 proved Sage Homes’ business and financing models to be scalable and robust. It launched the first European Social Housing Securitisation that is sustainable, social and green, generating £280m proceeds to fund new affordable homes.
Using appropriate debt financing allows Sage to increase the scale of its investors’ commitment to providing new affordable homes. In 2021, Sage increased its Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) capacity from £580 million to £680 million from which it already invested £472 million.
Sage met all applicable terms of its adopted code of governance, the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Corporate Governance Code, and Sage continues to look for new financially responsible ways of delivering much-needed affordable homes.
Current trading and outlook
Sage Homes’ strong 2021 performance has continued into 2022. It exchanged on 1,847 homes in the six months to 30 June 2022, taking the portfolio (delivered and exchanged) to 19,805 homes. It has also achieved record delivery of new affordable rental homes to those on council waiting lists with 1,061 lettings in H1 22, up from 579 from a year earlier.
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