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industry news 19 FUNDING CIRCLE Funding Circle launches finance bridging product

almost collapsed and with traditional lenders hamstrung by bad debts, capital requirements and legacy IT issues, it became extremely difficult for both homebuyers and homebuilders to find finance. Larger housebuilders still continue to empha-


sise that they will only be able to meet 50 to 60 per cent of future demand for housing, making the role of, and the need to bank roll, small prop- erty developers absolutely crucial. A new form of finance, Funding Circle,

matches businesses looking for short-term prop- erty finance directly with a range of investors. Once an application for a loan has been approved, it is listed on the marketplace and funded by investors. To be eligible, businesses must have a track record in property develop- ment, investment or trading. Explaining how this new form of funding can

help both large and smaller home builders Funding Circle property finance specialist, Parik Chandra said: “Since we extended the loans we offer to small businesses to include property finance a year ago, we have been inundated with demand from successful property professionals who continue to find it difficult to access finance from traditional sources. Being able to provide a

NEW HOMES IN BATTERSEA Battersea gasholders to make way for 839 homes W

andsworth Council has approved a plan to build 839 homes, a nursery, shops and public square on the for-

mer Battersea gasholder site in Nine Elms. The proposal, a joint venture between devel-

oper St William and National Grid, would include 201 (24 per cent) affordable homes for local residents to buy or rent at a reduced price. The four gasholders, which neighbour the

world-famous Battersea Power Station, were decommissioned in 2013 and demolition is already well underway. There would be 370 construction jobs created

during the building programme and more per- manent jobs once it is complete. The disused gasworks occupies a key position

between Battersea Park and the new town centre now being built at Battersea Power Station. The proposal would, with the agreement of Network Rail, create new routes through the site on two Victorian railway viaducts which wrap around it. These new links would form key connections in

the new area-wide pedestrian and cycle network which is taking shape across Nine Elms. The plans include 12 new buildings ranging in

height from seven up to 26 storeys, designed by architects Squire and Partners. The developer is set to make a £30million con-

tribution to the cost of extending the Northern Line to this part of Battersea as well as a range of improvements to local community services. A further £4 million is being provided

for improvements to Battersea Park Station, including a second entrance and new lifts. Local planning committee chair Sarah

McDermott said: “This project will transform another disused industrial site into the new housing our residents need. It will also create valuable public open space and hundreds of jobs. The proposal comes with well over £30 million towards improving community and transport services in Nine Elms which will be absolutely vital to making this new part of the city a success.”

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s the country fell into the recession the banking community became, a little belatedly, risk averse. Bank lending

bridging product means we now offer the full suite of commercial property products, providing the liquidity that the property market needs and supporting projects across Britain. A modern property market needs modern finance - finance that is fast, flexible and simple.” Funding Circle now offers the full suite of

commercial property finance loans, having recently launched a short-term bridging product. This comes a year after extending the types of

loan on offer to include property finance for small businesses that develop or invest in prop- erty. Over the last 12 months, investors have lent more than £60 million on property loans, allow- ing Funding Circle to create a strong presence in the property lending market. During this time, the UK’s leading market-

place for business loans has received a significant number of enquiries from businesses interested in taking shorter-term loans. The move bolsters Funding Circle’s existing range of property finance loans, which include commercial mort- gages, development and investment loans. Property developers of all sizes and investors

can now request a range of short-term loans for almost any purpose, including: •Equity release against unencumbered properties •Quick acquisitions of development sites, with the speed of execution allowing borrowers to negotiate discounts

•Land purchases where the developer wishes to optimise planning permission prior to refinancing onto a more traditional development finance package

•Refurbishment loans, following which borrowers will refinance onto traditional buy to let mortgages

•Auction purchases Two property projects that have already bene- fited from Funding Circle finance are Verto Homes and Medina Capital Investments. With the £750,000 of funding, received from

11,519 Funding Circle investors, small property developer Verto Homes has just completed 21 state-of-the-art, four-bedroom ‘smart’ homes in Newquay, Cornwall. The fully insulated proper- ties are sustainable with roofs made of solar panels and include features like the low use water management system, which can be controlled on a smart phone. In total, £4,890,000 has been approved for the projects, with further money to be drawn down over the coming months. London-based property development

company Medina Capital Investments has bor- rowed £640,000 from over 5,000 people since September 2014. They are part of the way through a development in West London, and are expecting to complete the construction and sale of two family homes by March 2016. The total loan facility they need is in excess of £1.5 million.

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