Housebuilder Barratt has confirmed it is in talks to sell off parts of its £170 million shared equity loan portfolio.
In a statement released to the stock market this morning it said it had noted recent “press speculation around its portfolio of shared equity loans”.
The statement said: “Barratt confirms that it is in the early stages of looking at options to monetise part of its interest in this portfolio. There is no certainty that any transaction will be concluded.”
The move comes after a Financial Times report claimed the company had entered talks with investors to sell the first tranche of its shared equity loans.
It claimed the company was looking to dispose of part of its £170m shared equity mortgage book which has been amassed since the start of the recession.
Such a move could prove significant for the housebuilding market as a whole as it would be the first sign of the return of mortgage security products.
Thus far housebuilders have avoided selling their loan books as investors are thought to have demanded the debt be traded at too large a discount.
One real estate banker told the FT: “Barratt will have to take a haircut on the loans. But, if it is not too big, others will follow and it will make a nice little sideline for the industry,” said one real estate banker.
“The difficulty will be for those housebuilders which haven’t written down their shared equity enough and have to take losses to sell it,” the banker added.