WM Housing Group is one of the largest and most successful housing groups in the Midlands providing over 27,000 homes with a turnover of £120 million per year. The group operates through its subsidiaries of Whitefriars Housing, West Mercia Homes and Optima Community Association across the West Midlands in Coventry, Birmingham, Solihull, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. We want everything we do to help achieve our vision which is ‘Creating places where people are proud to live and work’.
We have a strong business plan and are committed to using our financial capacity to invest in our properties, improve our services to residents and provide new homes. In the Autumn of 2012, we embarked on a project to raise new finance within the Group to utilise our financial capacity and were rated Aa3 by Moody’s. Following investor roadshows at the end of November, we had over £600m of interest in our £160m bond issue and completed the bond issue on 3 December 2012.
The United Kingdom lost its AAA Moody’s rating on 22 February 2013 and as a consequence, Moody’s immediately downgraded 26 of the 28 Moody’s-rated Registered Providers by one notch early in the week commencing 25 February 2013. Our credit rating therefore became A1. Moody’s also placed all Housing Associations rated by them on review for further downgrade. Please see the Moody’s press release in the credit rating section for further information about the February rating actions on the Housing Association sector.
Moody’s review of the sector was concluded in May 2013. The outcome was a further rating downgrade for all but one of Moody’s rated Housing Associations. Our credit rating therefore became A2. The conclusion of the review meant that the outlook for the sector improved from ‘on review for further downgrade’ to ‘stable’. Please see the Moody’s press release in the credit rating section for further information about the May rating actions on the Housing Association sector.
On 26 February 2014, Moody’s published its first annual review of the Group’s credit rating, affirming the A2 rating (May 2013) with a stable outlook. The published rating is contained within the credit rating section of the website.