Approved loans from Brickflow. The UK’s first search engine for development finance – has secured £47.6 million in approved loans in its first six months, supporting the delivery of 220 (208 residential and 12 commercial) units. Launched on 30 October, the digital platform connects borrowers and lenders in seconds, addressing widely-reported funding access issues.
In its 2020 Housebuilders’ Survey, the Federation of Master Builders found respondents rated residential development lending conditions for SMEs 1.98 out of 5, down from 2.15 the previous year.
Brickflow believes it will stop this downward spiral; with 26 lenders plugged into its platform (representing more than half of the UK development finance sector), it can comfortably complete the development loan process in six weeks, rather than the industry standard of six months, and enjoys a 90+% conversion rate from Heads of Terms (HoTs) to credit approval.
Over the past six months, 15 borrowers have had loans approved – at an average of just under £3.2m per loan.
Co-founder and head of lending, Ian Humphreys, says technology supports a simple and speedy application process: “Once they’ve completed a search, borrowers are invited to build a project appraisal on the platform and when completed, it’s published on Brickflow. Lenders that are the closest match are invited to review the appraisal, bid on the project and submit their best loan terms.”
“Any and all lender feedback is shared with the borrower, along with additional information requests. Our process has been developed in consultation with our lenders, so once HoTs are received, borrowers are not normally required to provide further information to get through the credit approval stage. It means borrowers can move forward at speed and with confidence.”
Brickflow says its business model is a win, win for lenders and borrowers. “There’s a single onboarding process, supported by online tools to build borrowers’ profiles and showcase their experience and projects. This information is only sent to lenders that match borrowers’ requirements, making it easier for lenders to find the projects that they want to fund, saving huge amounts of time for both parties,” comments Ian.
“Our mission is to open up the market and empower borrowers and their advisers – offering them the quickest and easiest way to secure trusted finance,” he concludes.