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Harper Macleod housing team eyes half a billion pound deals milestone

The Housing team at law firm Harper Macleod has seen the overall tally for Scottish housing association funding deals it has advised on in the current financial year approach the £500 million mark after the latest investments were announced.

Led by Partner Derek Hogg, one of Scotland's leading legal advisers to housing providers, and Senior Associate, Collette Miller, (pictured below) in February the firm advised on and completed private placement investment deals in February for Cunninghame Housing Association and Queens Cross Housing Association worth a total of £70 million. Those deals will assist the housing associations to push forward with their affordable housing development programmes throughout Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Glasgow.

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These deals are the latest in a series of deals the firm has advised on in recent years, which in 2018 alone included an £85m package for Kingdom Housing Association, a £70m deal for Clyde Valley Housing Association, a £50m deal for Cairn Housing Association and a £127m refinancing for River Clyde Homes.

Scotland's housing providers are viewed as a strong investment opportunity and the team at Harper Macleod has helped many of its housing association clients access long-term funding from institutional investors at attractive rates – fuelling their development programmes and allowing for the building of thousands of affordable homes across the country.

Derek Hogg said: "The past few years have been an unprecedented period for registered social landlords (RSLs) in Scotland in terms of attracting long-term finance for their development plans at attractive interest rates. We are fortunate in this country to have a large number of very well run, ambitious housing organisations, which means that the sector as a whole is seen by institutional investors as a safe sector to invest long-term money and these deals have a potential knock-on effect for others looking to secure funding to back their vision.

"Our team has acted in almost all of the private placements in Scotland so far, becoming the go-to firm just as we had been for the housing stock transfers that preceded this era. We are grateful to all of our clients for choosing to work with us on such exciting transactions and believe the pipeline of deals will continue in the years ahead."

The firm advises in all aspects of transactions, providing legal advice throughout, acting as "issuer counsel", helping to negotiate and finalise the finance documents, and undertaking security exercises. The team also provides advice and support to RSL board members on the relevant governance issues throughout the process.