Connect with us
Finance Digest is a leading online platform for finance and business news, providing insights on banking, finance, technology, investing,trading, insurance, fintech, and more. The platform covers a diverse range of topics, including banking, insurance, investment, wealth management, fintech, and regulatory issues. The website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website.


By Ian Humphreys, co-founder and head of lending, Brickflow


When Chancellor Rishi Sunak made his first Mansion House speech in July 2021, he called for financial services provision across the UK to be ‘more open, more competitive, more technologically advanced and more sustainable’.


Many companies within the financial services sector believe they are making great progress in supporting Open Finance, creating open ecosystems and sharing data on digital platforms, but this doesn’t appear to be the case for commercial lenders, particularly providers of development finance, where it is still difficult for property developers to access funds.

Developers have not had the luxury of being able to shop around and compare lenders’ offers in the same way they would other financial services products, such as residential mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards or insurance, yet these are the people who need a digital solution most.


They’re unlikely to have the time, energy, knowledge or inclination to assess and compare the numerous commercial lending options currently available, so what options do borrowers have?

They can:



  •         Contact an introducer, specialist firm, other professional services provider, such as an accountant or estate agent, or maybe a friend.  Introducers, such as mortgage brokers or advisers, must be briefed on everything, including property details, planning situation, land/build costs, estimated selling price and borrowing amount. Having shared this information with one lender, introducers will spend time repeating the process in order to obtain comparable quotes.


  •         Contact lenders used before. If they’ve raised money for other projects, developers may return to the same source (blissfully unaware a better deal can be secured elsewhere).  


Fragmented market


Being able to source and easily access commercial funding is fundamental to kick-starting a building project and helping the Government meet its target to build 300,000 new homes per year. Yet the process remains difficult.

Chasing development finance, arranging meetings, showcasing experience and repeatedly answering questions about the project – ie the property, planning situation, land/build costs, selling price, profit margins, overall valuation, borrowing requirements and where the deposit is coming from – takes months.

Overlay this with different lending criteria, most lenders work off the gross development value and will lend a percentage of that (it varies between 55% and 75%), changing geographical limitations, building specifications and experience requirements, and it’s easy to see why developers are overwhelmed and unable to compare these variables.  


Third-parties such as brokers or introducers face similar challenges; they need to regularly update their databases to keep track of the ever-changing lending criteria of 50+ development finance providers, pricing/policy variations and new products coming onto the market.  

The process is equally cumbersome for lenders; their differing lending criteria around loan size, deposit requirement, geography, asset type and borrower profile means they are inundated with inappropriate enquiries, resulting in low loan conversion rates of around 5%.


With such a fragmented market and so many variables, it’s no surprise to find the Federation of Master Builders, in its 2021 Housebuilders’ Survey, found one in three housebuilders cite ‘a lack of finance’ as one of their biggest barriers to progressing projects.


Tech innovation

As is familiar with many challenges, the answer lies in technology. In October 2020, Brickflow – the UK’s first comparison site for development finance – launched.

Its online tools and development finance experts:



  •         Apply for funds.


  •         Compare estimates from compatible lenders (ranked by loan size and price, helping borrowers improve their Return on Capital Employed).


  •         Return completed project appraisals to up to five lenders to bid on.



The digital platform delivers estimates from more than 35 lenders’  in two minutes (this  would take several weeks if completed manually), and typically finalises the whole credit approval/final loan offer process in six weeks (as opposed to the usual six months). 


Having searched and stored 121 pieces of data from each of its 37 lenders (representing 70+% of the market) and by using proprietary algorithms, the platform instantly selects lenders likely to make a loan offer, resulting in a 95+% conversion rate from Heads of Terms to completion.

And with borrowers able to compare estimates from compatible lenders, ranked by loan size and price, it improves their Return on Capital Employed, often saving them  hundreds of thousands of pounds, which can be ploughed back into more property development projects.


The benefits to the wider industry are clear; a more efficient funding process saves time, money and resources, enabling all stakeholders to do their job better. And the more efficient the borrower and lender, the greater the gains for the UK housing market.       


Continue Reading

Why pay for news and opinions when you can get them for free?

       Subscribe for free now!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Recent Posts