The demand for quality land in the UK has likely never been higher.
We all know that good quality land that is either likely to be granted planning permission, or has had planning permission granted, can be worth thousands or even millions.
Once that land has been developed it’s worth even more, and that’s easy for everybody to see if they just take a look at the share prices of the UK’s largest house building companies. Granted, that also has much to do with the government’s flagship help-to-buy scheme, but with the announcement of its extension, and now a 95% mortgage backed and guaranteed by the government, that premium for new-build properties, and developed properties in general, is unlikely to abate any time soon.
We can confidently say that through our own clients we have seen a large increase in the number of enquiries we’ve been seeing about 100% development finance, and development finance more generally.
Development finance, when done well, is a highly lucrative business, however, most can’t afford to do it all with their own money and so most will often need to raise some capital through development finance or finance more generally.
That’s where we help out our clients and give them access to our extensive and diverse panel of lenders that are able to provide finance at great rates, for a wide variety of development projects, and from finance companies that truly understand the process and offer specialised products, including 100% development finance.
What is 100% development finance?
100% development finance, also known as Joint Venture finance, or JV finance, is a way for property and land developers to raise capital to complete a project without having to put their own money in.
The question you’re already asking, is why somebody would front up 100 per cent of the cost, and the answer is because they get to share in the profits once the project has been completed.
There are two types of 100% development finance, or joint venture finance. The first is where the lender doesn’t charge any interest on the debt, but asks for a greater share of the profits, and the second is where the lender charges interest on the money, but takes a slightly smaller cut of the profits once the development is completed.
Usually, it’s around 50/50 on the profits for the lender and the developer, however, this can vary.
Can I get 100% development finance with no experience?
The chances are slim, but not non-existent. Realistically if you don’t personally have experience in property development then you’re going to need a pretty impressive business plan and a great team around you.
Investing in property development can be extremely risky if things go wrong, and so if a lender is prepared to take on a large amount of risk then they’re going to want to feel confident that you’re going to be able to complete your project on budget and on time to the specifications you’re saying you can meet.
It’s certainly more difficult to be accepted for development finance with little experience, but this is something you can discuss with a broker and they can provide you with some more detailed advice.
Can I get 100% development finance without a profit share?
Yes, it’s possible, however, you’ll need to provide additional security, usually in the form of property or land. It can be your own property, investment property or land that could be used for development in the future. Joint venture development finance will always require either additional security or a profit share.
By going for joint venture finance you’re indicating that you’re happy to share the rewards with the lender in exchange for them taking a risk on you.
As is the case with venture capitalism, investing in a project or business in the early stages is often the riskiest part and so most investors will want a good reward for taking so much risk. If you’re experienced with a good record then there could be room for some negotiation, however, this is something you’d need to discuss with a broker in more detail.
Criteria – Do I qualify?
- Experience – You need to be experienced in the industry and have a track record of success to give the lender the confidence they need that you’re going to be able to deliver on your promises.
- Profitability – You’ll need to be able to deliver a profit margin on your project of at least 25%, however, most of our lending panel would prefer to see a margin of 30% or over.
- Gross Development Value – Most of our panel will want to see a Gross Development Value (GDV) of at least £1 million to consider a joint development finance proposal.
- Planning permission – The vast majority of our lenders will want to see that you already have planning permission in place before agreeing to finance your development, as taking on projects before planning permission is agreed is extremely risky.
Benefits of 100% development finance
There’s a reason why this type of development finance is one of our most popular products for a developer. Here are the main benefits of this type of loan.
You’re taking on less risk by not fronting the entire amount, and so the pressure isn’t quite as great on just your shoulders. By sharing the risk with a lender, it means that you have more space to breath and get on with the project in hand.
It also means that you’re not stretching yourself too thin by perhaps putting all your money into the project and trying to do things cheaper than you may with the backing of a loan.
Generally speaking, most lenders will be looking for an exit plan of between 6 to 60 months, meaning that you’re in a much better position to not be constrained by time expectations that can come with other types of development finance.
Because we can work with flexible terms this lightens the pressure on you as a developer, and this property development finance can work around you and your plan.
Help with project management
Most of our panel are highly experienced and specialist loan providers, meaning that they’ll be involved in the process and can help you along the way with project management and other types of assistance.
Ultimately, if you’ve got a good and profitable project that our lenders are interested in then it’s in everybody’s interest for you to succeed, so there will be help available for you along the way.
Other ways to finance property
Of course, this type of development finance may not be right for you and, ultimately, we’re here to find the right products for you and your situation.
We offer lots of products that can help, from auction finance, to a mortgage, to commercial mortgages and beyond. Because we operate as a broker and an intermediary we have access to a number of different and specialised products offered by investors and lenders that you may not normally have access to, as opposed to a bank or traditional lender or loan provider.
Regulated development finance
Regulated development finance is used for when the property being developed is going to be used as a primary house or dwelling of the borrower.
So if you’re looking at the types of developments that will ultimately become a house for you or your immediate family, that then means that the product is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, otherwise known as the FCA because the loan is then considered a consumer product rather than business or commercial.
A bridging loan can be used when you’re looking for shorter term finance before re-arranging something like a mortgage or other longer term loans.
Often these are used when an investor only needs capital for a short time, usually between 3 months and a few years, in order to complete a project that they’ll then sell or use to rent out.
A traditional lender won’t provide a mortgage or other lending for a risky project, and so this means that investors use them to buy land, materials, or pay for the development of the site before then paying the loan off quickly.
This can be attractive as it doesn’t require a profit share model, but the interest is often higher than other types of loans or lending.
Commercial finance is usually just a term that’s used to mean lending or loans for a business or commercial enterprise rather than an individual, but it can be very flexible in its terms and rates.
If you’re looking to borrow against or as a business to limit your liability and your business has a good credit rating then this can be a good option, especially for property developers, as it prevents them being pursued as individuals should something go wrong.
Of course, this type of lending can mean tax liabilities, and so it’s something that should certainly be discussed with an accountant before agreeing it, however, there are many benefits.
This type of lending is considered to be unregulated as it’s not consumer finance in the way that a regulated loan would be considered, and it also means that the amounts that can be lent are higher and can be taken over longer terms, should you require it.
Ultimately, if property development is something that you’re looking at and need lending for, then it’s something that we can help with.
Joint venture financing is certainly popular as it reduces the risk on behalf of the developer and provides lots of support, however, the criteria for your experience is usually quite strict and many lenders will require that you’re on your second, third or fourth development before considering you for 100% funding.
If you’re looking at a smaller project or are just starting out then it’s likely that a different product may be better for you, such as bridging loans or commercial finance.
The best advice in these circumstances is to pick up the phone and speak to a broker about it, as they can run you through the process and understand your project in more specific terms. Once it’s understood what you’re looking to achieve and where you’re at, then we can start to recommend some products.
We’re a company with many years’ experience in the industry and we can guarantee you a friendly and expert service with access to the best lenders on the market. If you’re looking to get a better idea of what may be available to you, then pick up the phone today and speak to somebody who can help.