February 8, 2022

Unison Announces Securitization of $443 Million Unison Residential Equity Agreements

The company finishes banner year of growth with largest securitization of its kind.

  • Residential equity agreement (REA) securitization creates an unprecedented opportunity for institutional investors to participate in the residential equity market.
  • The securitization is intended to drive favorable financial benefits for consumers including increased efficiency and better leverage in the markets.
  • Expands C-suite with two seasoned executives.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, February 07, 2022 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Unison, the leader in residential equity agreements (REAs), has closed a $443 million securitization, which supports residential equity agreements across the country and gives more access to institutional investors who want to participate in the sector. This milestone transaction is the largest securitization of REAs to date, rounding out a historical year of growth for the fintech company.

    Home prices have been increasing rapidly over the past year, creating a record $25 trillion of wealth locked in the U.S. housing market according to the Federal Reserve of St Louis.[1] Unlocking trapped equity, however, has gotten harder as banks have tightened lending standards and traditional home equity solutions require a homeowner to take on additional debt and monthly payments. This transaction offers the opportunity for investors to access residential real estate equity and increases liquidity for homeowners across the country looking to monetize the equity in one of their most valuable assets—their homes.

    This transaction closed December 22, 2021 and included Nomura Securities International, Inc. as the structuring agent and joint bookrunner with participation from Barclays Capital Inc. as joint bookrunner. Mayer Brown, LLP served as the legal representative of the issuer, and Sidley Austin, LLP served as the legal representative of the initial purchasers.

    "The Unison securitization allows a wider range of investors to participate in the space of residential equity agreements," said Matthew O’Hara, Head of Portfolio Management & Research, Unison Investment Management. "It also increases the efficiency of the market, which should lead to wider adoption amongst homeowners, ultimately leading to a larger, more liquid marketplace that benefits homeowners and investors alike."

    "We are doing something truly innovative in a market that is ripe for change," Unison founder and CEO Thomas Sponholtz said. "This securitization adds a new component to our investment management arm and adds an important source of capital to fund consumer REAs across the country; we have the opportunity to utilize this funding mechanism to help our current and future consumers harness the power of the equity in their homes. I’m proud of the work the Unison Investment Management team has accomplished, and this is another important milestone that is helping to make residential equity more accessible for both consumers and investors seeking exposure to the market."

    As a part of its growth, Unison has also added new talent to its executive team, naming PayPal/eBay veteran Ryan Downs as President, Silicon Valley Bank growth expert Scott Case as Chief Financial Officer and Wells Fargo Securities Joe Celentano as Global Head of Markets.

    Unison Investment Management (UIM) delivers efficient and scalable investment opportunities into the largest asset class in the world: owner-occupied residential real estate. Unison Investment Management has been investing in homes since 2006, currently manages $1.3B in residential equity agreements, and has a 10+ year track record of 16.3% annualized net returns since 2010. Unison Investment Management’s portfolios provide low volatility and high risk-adjusted net returns relative to other major asset classes.

    About Unison

    Unison is a San Francisco-based company that is pioneering a smarter, better way to own your home. Until now, the only way to finance a home was by taking on debt. Through Unison residential equity agreements, we help homeowners access their equity flexibly with no monthly payments or interest. We enhance home affordability, reduce debt, and deliver a less risky way for homeowners, investors, and society to think about their most important asset - the home. For additional information, visit www.unison.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

    [1] Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Households; Owners' Equity in Real Estate, Level [OEHRENWBSHNO], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/OEHRENWBSHNO, January 13, 2022.

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