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Merlin secures record low rates to fund development programme

South west housing association Merlin has secured record low rates of funding to finance its expanding development programme.

In the past week Merlin secured record low rates of European Investment Bank funding and from the sale of retained bonds. The deals form part of £50m of funding the housing association has secured through Affordable Housing Finance.

The £25m of EIB funding has been secured at rates of 1.406% for the first £15m and 1.373% for the remaining £10m, the lowest rates achieved to date through the fund.

The housing association also secured a record low rate of 1.75% on £10m from the sale of retained AHF bonds last week. It had previously secured £15m at 2.713% in February.

Merlin’s Finance Director Sue O'Neill, said: “We’re delighted to have secured these three latest deals at record low rates. The deals conclude the transactions around £50m of affordable housing finance we secured by way of European Investment Bank loans and AHF bonds earlier this year.

“We have a strong business plan and are committed to using our financial strength to grow the business and develop new homes. This funding will enable us to expand our development programme and support our plans to deliver 300 homes a year by 2019.”

The housing association recently posted its strongest financial results, recording its highest net surplus of £10.5m and increased its operating margin to 34%. Merlin aims to start work on site with 250 new homes this year and to complete 130 by the end of the financial year. Its goal is to be building 300 new homes every year by 2019.

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