Legal & General Capital (LGC) has today announced the launch of its modular housing business, Legal & General Homes, which will seek to modernise the home building industry by providing modern, precision engineered factory manufactured houses through its new factory in the North of England.

The UK’s housing supply is in crisis. This is a chronic production problem; we simply don’t supply enough houses to meet the demand by customers, both young and old. The UK has an annual output of around 130,000 homes, with a requirement for 250,000. Legal & General is aiming to build thousands of modular houses to help tackle this long term problem.

Legal & General Homes has signed a long-term lease with Logicor on a 550,000 sq ft warehouse in Sherburn-in-Elmet, 15 miles east of Leeds, representing the largest modular homes construction factory in the world. Initially employing 400 to 500 local people, it expects to deliver its first houses from the factory in June. The customer response to our modular housing has been extremely positive from a wide range of developers.

Paul Stanworth, Managing Director of Legal & General Capital, said: “Sustainable, durable modern materials and proven technology will enable us to create high-quality homes meeting a wide range of housing needs and help solve the UK’s housing crisis. Modern modular housing in the UK has so far been restricted to the top end of the market: the scale of our Sherburn facility will enable many more people to benefit from new, environmentally-friendly construction techniques which have already become mainstream in Europe.”

A flexible, cost-effective solution, it will produce high quality homes tailored to meet customers’ designs and needs, ranging from 20-storey apartment blocks to rows of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses. The technology has been proven right across Europe, including countries such as Austria, Germany and Scandinavia where off-site manufacturing of housing is increasingly common place. Time spent building on site will be reduced by more than 70%, compared to traditional techniques, manufacturing sections in advance and delivering them to the site to be installed.

Tom Ground, Chief Executive of Legal & General Homes, commented: “Legal & General Homes aims to deliver a new solution to the problems we face in the UK, addressing the shortage of suitable, affordable and sustainable housing by manufacturing higher quality, energy efficient, lower cost housing.”

Legal & General Homes will not have the typical defects associated with house building by using cross laminated timber and automated technology to remove shrinkage, cracking, wet trades, plaster jointing and nailing – reducing repair costs as the building settles. Its homes will be precision engineered in order to make them energy efficient, great to live in, and better for the environment than traditional homes.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) commented: “I am delighted that The LEP was able to play a significant role in securing Legal & General’s investment into Selby. The confidence shown not only brings over 400 jobs to the area, it highlights the strength of the City Region’s workforce within the manufacturing sector and underlines our attractiveness to international investors due to our location at the heart of the UK which ensures easy access to both domestic and global markets.”

“The investment, which is the second in the region by Legal and General in the last 12 months following the joint venture with Scarborough Group at Thorpe Park, will also see The LEP and Legal and General work together to help meet the region’s growing housing demands.”

Leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Mark Crane, added: “This is a real vote of confidence in the Selby district as a great place for business investment. Our transport links, the availability of affordable business space, and the quality of life here in Yorkshire all contribute to the growth potential of our area. This isn’t just about jobs, this is about housing too and we’re excited by the products that will be made at this site. We’ve been working with Legal & General for some time now, and we’ll continue to do so, to finalise plans for this major investment in the Selby district.”

Charlie Howard, Managing Director – UK, Logicor, said: “We are very pleased to lease this building to L&G Homes. The Big555 is the UK’s largest readily available warehouse, located in Sherburn Distribution Park which provides strategic access to Yorkshire, the North West, the North East and the Midlands.”

As one of the largest UK property investors, with significant volumes of patient long-term capital under management, Legal & General has identified high quality housing stock as a key asset for society and wants to work with the Government, local authorities, housebuilders, social housing providers, charities and other specialist organisations to create more housing stock in the UK. It recently announced the launch of a Build to Rent partnership with PGGM, through which it will invest £600m into building purpose built private rental housing across the UK, providing over 3000 homes.

Our Mortgage Club provides large scale distribution of mortgages. In 2015 the Club completed £46bn of mortgage lending, with around one in five new UK mortgages going through it. It is part of the company’s Housing Partnerships Division, which includes Legal & General Surveying Services who managed over 490,000 mortgage valuations and surveys in 2015, and Insurance which provides a full range of protection products for homeowners, tenants and landlords.