LendInvest director Larkin buoyed by deal to be finance lender for almost 6,000 new homes

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Steve Larkin, director of development at LendInvest, believes being named exclusive development finance lender for almost 6,000 homes shows how far the company has come in the past two years.

LendInvest is the finance lender on the first phase of a long-term development scheme that aims to build up to 5,750 new homes outside Dover in Kent.

The borrower, Halsbury Homes, owns a site in Whitfield, four miles from Dover. Following a competitive process, LendInvest has agreed to fund the construction of 216 units in Richmond Park, the first section of the site to be developed on which Halsbury has consent to build 1,310 homes. This marks LendInvest’s largest development project to date, by the number of units under construction.

And Larkin said: “Funding a development on the scale of Richmond Park is hugely exciting as a lender. There is great potential for a very long-term relationship and this deal shows how far we have grown as a development finance backer in two years since our development loans were formally launched.

"The fact that this will be adding at least 216 affordable homes to the country’s housing stock in an area that’s popular with families and commuters is a significant bonus.”

The developer initially received a LendInvest bridging loan of £10 million to repay an existing lender. The borrower subsequently transitioned to a LendInvest development finance loan of £7.75 million for construction.

Halsbury also has building consent for further amenities such as a school, shops and a retirement home within Richmond Park. Additionally, the developer has negotiated a new bus route with the local council to run through the site, enhancing accessibility for the new residents.

The development is in a sought-after location for commuters with good transport links to London. Trains to St Pancras International take only 1 hour 5 minutes.

The total loan provision for this site is just under £18 million based on an LTV of 64%. Construction of the first 216 units is expected to be completed by late 2019 and the total GDV is forecast to exceed £59 million.

All of the 216 units funded by this development finance loan will be available for purchase by first time buyers through the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Jason Green, of Halsbury Homes said: “Whitfield is the second largest regeneration development in Kent and is very important to Halsbury. We have been in the fortunate position of having several funders interested in supporting our next phase of growth.

"However, once LendInvest showed interest in supporting us on the scheme, it was not a difficult decision to partner with them, as they have been a strong partner to us on other sites.

“This transaction was no different to our previous experiences of working with LendInvest. The team moved quickly through the analysis and diligence phases and completed the loan documentation in a short timeframe. Post-completion, the lending relationship is running very smoothly. We are confident and excited about Whitfield and pleased to be enabling people to move, getting new, first time buyers into the market and doing our bit to help the country solve its major housing problem.”

Naismiths advised LendInvest and Halsbury Homes on the transaction. And Blane Perrotton, Naismiths MD, said: “It’s not just the scale of this project that makes it special, it’s the ambition. The creation of 216 new, affordable homes in such a sought-after location will make Richmond Park a crucial development in the effort to solve Britain’s housing crisis.

“Naismiths has successfully partnered with both Halsbury Homes and LendInvest over several years. Our relationships are based on respect, hard work and performance, and we’re proud to have served as project monitors on this development from inception right through to construction.”

Ryan Ewen is the Commercial Director of Oxygen - a leading digital marketing company specialising in finance, sport and news.

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