A recent client of mine came to us through a professional partner of Enness, with whom we have a long-standing relationship. He felt this case needed a specialist broker, and hoped we might be able to help in unusual and time-pressured circumstances.
The client owned a property in Holland Park which he was looking to sell through another professional partner of ours, the London estate agents Henry & James. It was on the market for £16m.
Before he had a buyer lined up, however, he found a beautiful estate in Essex. Time was of the essence as he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to snap it up. He was therefore eager to purchase and exchange on the Essex property before the London sale had gone through.
To secure the Essex property, he needed to take out a £12m bridging loan. On the high street, he would have found it very difficult to find a lender because of the worry that he was over-exposed. Since the financial crisis, high street banks have erred on the side of caution, and tend to shy away from non-‘vanilla’ cases that don’t conform to a list of tick-box criteria.
The advantage of coming to Enness is our extensive network of contacts within the industry. In this instance, we approached a British private bank who operate by introduction only and explained the case to them.
They were happy to issue the full £12m loan at the amazingly low rate of 4.5%. It is not unusual for bridges to go up to 12%, and this case was proof that they don’t have to go into double digits; indeed, they can look like ordinary mortgage rates. Far from being a last resort or an eye-watering expense that preys on the vulnerable, bridging finance – in the right hands – is an important tool in any investor’s financing armoury.
Our solution allowed my client to complete on the Essex purchase before the London property had sold, and he is now happily moved into his new estate.