I am very sorry to say that we will not be expanding the Genie business or offering the product to new customers. I know this will be very disappointing to all who have supported us, who have championed our innovation and to those who have registered their interest in buying a Genie Home.
Our founder shareholder, Gentoo, have been very supportive to date but they are facing a huge period of change and a range of financial pressures resulting in them having to refocus on their core activity as an excellent housing provider in Sunderland.
I have been unable to raise the long term equity required to expand beyond our current North East based pilot. I am proud of what we have achieved but have learnt that innovation in established markets like housing and home finance is difficult. Investors have a preference for proven models such as shared ownership or market rental schemes and whilst most have been interested in Genie, the business was simply too small and unproven to convert this interest into an investment.
I still believe there is a need for real innovation if we are to ensure more people can access home ownership. Genie has shown there can be alternatives to the traditional mortgage or rental products and I hope others will see the value of our progress, take up the mantel and continue to innovate.
Thank you to Gentoo for their support over the last 5 years and to those striving to buy a home, I wish you every success in achieving your home ownership dreams.