Modular housing in the UK has bagged a major investment from a leading US bank.
Goldman Sachs is to put £75 million into Top Hat, a British firm with a factory in Derbyshire where it manufactures prefabricated homes.
The investment bank says its decision to put its financial faith in Top Hat is because its “technology-driven approach has the potential to make a significant impact on the housing shortage”.
Top Hat was established in 2016 by American entrepreneur Jordan Rosenhaus. The first properties made at its Derbyshire plant will be transported to a site at Chatham in Kent later this year and the building work completed on site.
The properties will include a mix of two, three, four and five-bed homes.
According to its owner, the factory can make three houses or flats every day. These are then loaded on to trucks and transported to their eventual location.
Mr Rosenhaus said: “Goldman’s investment in Top Hat will allow us to expand our platform so we can build more houses for third parties.”
The history of modular housing in the UK is a mixed one, with most people only aware of the post-war prefabs that were not built for longevity.
However, modular homes are much more popular on the continent because they can be constructed off-site more cheaply, then assembled on site.
Recent developments in the UK mean that modular housing is fast becoming one of the most accessible solutions to the shortage of suitable homes.
Last year financial services giant Legal & General announced it would build up to 3,000 prefabricated homes annually at its factory in Leeds.
Homes England is providing funding for more modular construction, while London mayor Sadiq Khan has provided £11 million to 16 boroughs in the capital to use modular housing for the homeless.