UTB

UTB completes £1.8m bridge to support former children's home conversion



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United Trust Bank (UTB) has provided a £1.8m bridging loan to support the conversion of a three-storey house in south Croydon.

UTB’s customer – Bruce Burkitt of propertyexperts.co.uk – required the funding to convert the property into seven, self-contained flats.

Once completed, the flats would be let and added to the company’s growing BTL portfolio.

The house was previously used as a children’s home and the improvement works required were extensive.

Alongside internal remodelling, the borrower planned to excavate the basement and add a single-storey extension to the rear.

He obtained planning permission to convert the house prior to committing to the purchase and contacted broker Bruno Welch of Commercial Finance Practice, who in turn approached UTB to provide the £1.8m of funding required to cover the purchase price, cost of works and other fees.

UTB took a charge over three unencumbered properties within the borrower’s portfolio in addition to the Croydon house.

The works were estimated to take eight to nine months, with the completed flats valued at around £2.5m.

UTB’s loan facility provided Bruce with a day one amount to buy the property and then fund 100% of the total cost of works in tranches.

The overall 12-month loan facility was provided at 66% of the gross development value.

“The speed of arranging bridging – especially with a specialist like UTB – is really important to me,” said Bruce.

“Despite what some market indices might suggest, it’s a competitive market and there’s always interest in sites and properties with development potential.

“When I see an opportunity, I must be able to move quickly.

“UTB [is] quick, dependable, commercially minded and tenacious.

“As such, [it looks] at a proposal and thinks: ‘How can we do this deal?’

“If [it needs] to take a charge on some additional security, they process this quickly without delay.”

The exit to the bridging loan will be through a BTL refinance once the scheme is completed.

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