Wednesday 7 December 2016

State-backed Activate Capital funding development of 1,200 homes

Published 23/09/2016 | 07:22

Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Robert Gallagher, chief executive of Activate Capital, at the launch of Activate Capital in Dublin in July 2015. Photo: Tom Burke
Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Robert Gallagher, chief executive of Activate Capital, at the launch of Activate Capital in Dublin in July 2015. Photo: Tom Burke

Residential finance provider Activate Capital has now committed funding for sites in the greater Dublin area with the capacity to build 1,200 new homes.

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Activate Capital is a joint venture between the State-controlled Ireland Strategic Investment Fund and global investment firm KKR.

The sites are a mix of both zoned and planned locations with the type of houses ranging from starter to larger family homes. The first houses backed by Activate are due to hit the market in October.

Activate chief executive Robert Gallagher said the Government's housing action plan is to be welcomed.

“A significant inhibitor of progress has been the inability of house builders to access sufficient capital to progress their plans. Our capital partners ISIF and KKR have agreed to amend their facilities so that we can offer competitively priced loans across the development risk spectrum. This is particularly timely given the Government’s initiative and the pent up demand for development finance," he said.

The investment chief continued, saying while there is an increase in projects in its pipeline there needs to be much more development activity in the market to make a meaningful impact on the housing shortages.

"The greater availability and affordability of bespoke capital for house building will undoubtedly help move the dial. Given this, we anticipate a material uplift in activity in 2017, not just in Dublin but also in other urban locations around the country.”

Activate has also added to its executive team recently, with Dan Murphy joining from AIB, Emmet O’Reilly from Argentum Homes and Ciaran O’Toole from Ulster Bank. Activate has also appointed Stewart Harrington as a Non-Executive Director.

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