Civitas is the leading listed UK social housing REIT. Its investment objective is to provide an attractive level of income, with the potential for capital growth, from investing in a diversified portfolio of fully developed social homes, particularly specialist supported housing for vulnerable adults.
Civitas invests in specialist supported social housing (SSH) assets, fully let on long inflation-adjusted leases (more than 24 years) and this provides strong visibility of contractual income with a low historical correlation to the general economy, or residential or commercial property. It also delivers a strong positive social return, providing much needed private investment capital to housing associations/registered providers (RPs) so that they may provide and manage additional, care-based quality accommodation to some of the most vulnerable in society. FY19 assets and income grew strongly and EPRA earnings more than doubled. Dividend growth is continuing with the company targeting a 6% increase in DPS to 5.3p for the current year. Q1 EPRA NAV increased to 107.2p and annualised rent roll reached £46.0m. With negotiations on increased debt facilities at an advanced stage, we forecast an additional c £170m of acquisitions in the current year as the company gears its equity base towards its 35% target.
The chronic shortage of specialist support housing is forecast to increase, yet compared with the alternatives of residential care or hospitals it is widely recognised to improve lives in a cost-effective manner.