How Much Interest Rates Will You Pay in Development Finance?

If you’re considering property development in the UK, one of your first questions will likely be about the interest rate you’ll pay for financing. Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer here. 

Your interest rate will hinge on a couple of factors such as the amount you need to borrow, your experience in property development, where your site is located, and how big the loan is compared to the overall value of the project, known as the gross development value (GDV).

If you’re borrowing a smaller amount under £500,000 and you’ve been in the development game for a while, you might find yearly rates as low as 6.5%. But if you’re new, rates around 9% a year are more typical. 

On the flip side, larger loans that go over £500,000 could come with annual rates between 4.5% and 7.5%, especially if the loan to GDV is below 70% and you’ve got some experience.

When your loan carries a higher risk or if it’s a small loan, you could see monthly rates of 0.85% to 1.35%, which means you’re looking at yearly rates between 10.2% and 16.2%. 

And for those big projects that tip the scale over £1 million, you’re probably looking at rates of 6.5% to 7.5% annually if you’ve got the expertise.

Remember, these rates are ballpark figures. Always check for hidden costs like setup fees or exit charges, which aren’t included in these percentages.

What Determines Your Development Finance Rates?

While it’s hard to pinpoint an average rate without shopping around and understanding the specifics of your project, several key factors can affect your rate:

  • Your Experience – Similar to what you’ll find elsewhere, lenders here also weigh your track record in property development. The more projects you’ve successfully managed, the better your chances of landing a lower rate.
  • Loan Amount – It’s not just about how much you’re borrowing but also the impact this has on interest. While it might sound counterintuitive, sometimes needing more money can hike up your interest rate.
  • Site Location – Where you’re planning to build matters. For example, if your site is in a remote area, logistical challenges could drive up costs, and in turn, your interest rate.
  • Loan to GDV Ratio – This measures your loan size against the anticipated total value of your finished project. Lenders use this to gauge the project’s risk, which directly influences your interest rate.
  • Loan Term – Development finance often comes with short-term loan agreements, usually lasting up to 36 months. The time you have to wrap up your project can affect your rate, as shorter time frames might be viewed as riskier.
  • Market Conditions – The broader economic climate can influence interest rates. If demand for loans rises or general rates go up, expect to see a corresponding uptick in development finance rates.
  • Type of Project – Whether you’re doing a ground-up development, a new build, or a refurbishment, the scope and complexity of your project will affect the rate. More complex projects usually command higher interest rates.
  • Lender’s Terms – As always, different lenders offer different packages. It’s worth comparing what each lender brings to the table.

There you go. These factors collectively shape the interest rate you’ll get for your development finance. So, do your homework, ask questions, and don’t forget to read the fine print for any sneaky additional fees.

How Do Current Rates Stack Up?

It’s tricky to pinpoint exactly what rate you’d be offered without knowing specifics like your project details, loan size, and prior experience. However, to give you a ballpark idea, we’ve put together a comparison of some current lenders in the market and their general terms.

Lender CategorySuitable For Loan SizesTypical LTCStarting Interest RatesCommonly Funds Projects Involving
Mainstream Banks£5 million and above; £1 million – £5 millionUp to 70%From 4.5%+Established developers, simple projects, low financial risk
Niche Finance Companies£5 million and above; £1 million – £5 million70% – 90%From 6.5%+Established developers, complex projects, variable financial risk
Emerging Developer-Focused Lenders£300,000 – £1 millionUp to 85%From 9%+New developers, moderate financial risk

If you’re aiming to get the most favourable interest rate (as indicated in the table), it’s wise to consult a broker

A broker can provide you with tailored advice, help you compare rates from various lenders, and assist you throughout the application process. Going it alone could mean you end up paying significantly higher rates than necessary.

What Extra Costs Come with Development Finance in the UK?

When you’re considering a development finance loan, the interest rate isn’t the only cost you should be thinking about. Various additional fees can add up quickly, and they differ from lender to lender. 

Here’s a rundown of some extra charges you might encounter:

  • Lender’s Setup Fee – Typically, this fee will range from 1-2% of the loan amount. If you’re borrowing £1 million, that’s an extra £10,000 to £20,000 you’ll need to budget for.
  • Broker’s Fee – If you go through a broker, they might also charge around 1% of the loan amount, similar to the lender’s setup fee.
  • Surveyor Charges – Known also as Quantity Surveyor Fees, these can range anywhere between £1,500 to £5,000 based on how complex your project is.
  • Exit Costs – These could be around 1% of either the total loan amount or the gross development value of the property.
  • Legal Costs – You should budget between £2,000 and £5,000 for legal expenses, including the fees for a solicitor.
  • Non-Usage Fees – Less common but still worth mentioning, these fees could be about 0.5% of the loan amount that you haven’t drawn down each month.
  • Admin Charges – These might only be a few hundred quid, but they cover the lender’s overheads like paperwork and management.

When you’re comparing loan options, it’s essential to factor in these additional fees along with the interest rate. For a more personalised understanding of the costs involved, you might want to consult a mortgage broker who specialises in development finance.

Detailed infographic showcasing the range of interest rates and additional fees in development finance, highlighting the importance of considering total loan cost.

What Paperwork Do You Need for a Development Loan?

Applying for development finance in the UK involves presenting a strong case to your lender. The more detailed your proposal, the better your chances of securing favourable terms. Here’s what you usually need to have at hand:

  • Planning Permissions and Architectural Plans
  • Planning Constraints
  • Detailed Cost Breakdown
  • Past Development Records
  • Operational Timetable
  • Architects and Contractors Contact Information
  • Assets and Liabilities Overview
  • Exit Plan
  • Projected Final Value of the Project

It’s worth noting that each lender may have their specific criteria. This means that in some instances, additional documents like property valuations or expected post-development values might be requested.

In a nutshell, being thorough with your documentation can make your loan application process far less bumpy. Always consult your prospective lender for any specific requirements they might have.

How Can You Get a Better Rate on Your Development Finance?

When you’re eyeing a lower interest rate for your development finance, a couple of key points can make a big difference. 

First off, the more you put down as a deposit, the better your rate will likely be. But don’t rush—think about whether tying up more cash upfront is the best move for you.

Interest on development loans generally adds up monthly, and the rate can be quoted on either a monthly or annual basis. Importantly, the interest is typically calculated on the outstanding balance—meaning the amount you’ve drawn down and haven’t repaid yet—not on the full loan amount. This way, you’re only charged interest on the funds you’ve actually used.

Your track record matters, too. If you’ve got a good history in property development, lenders are more likely to offer you a sweeter deal. 

Since rates differ from lender to lender, shopping around is a must. Using a seasoned broker can help you navigate this complex field and get the best rate possible.

If it’s your first time taking on a development project, be prepared to pay a bit more at first. But don’t worry, as you gain experience and successfully finish projects, you should find it easier to secure lower rates down the line.

The Bottom Line

Your choice of broker can significantly impact the interest rate you get. This is something you can control. If you’re new to property development or don’t have a big deposit, a skilled broker can make a big difference.

A good broker will compare all the deals you’re eligible for, even those you might not be aware of. They’ll also assist with your application to boost your odds of success.

Brokers come in all shapes and sizes, with varying levels of expertise.

If you’re interested in finding the right broker, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll connect you to a seasoned development finance broker so you could get started on a hassle-free journey and focus on your project.