OakNorth completes first development finance deal in Scotland

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OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has completed its first transaction in Scotland: a £3m property investment loan to AMA Homes. Established in 1983, AMA is an award-winning residential and commercial property business which has built a reputation for itself over the last 30 years as one of Scotland’s most innovative property developers. It has successfully completed numerous developments, ranging from houses to aparthotels and student residences, each with a focus on design and quality.

The property investment loan will provide the developer with an extended period to redevelop Belford and Douglas House (located at 59 & 60 Belford Road Edinburgh EH4 3UE) into a major new residential site with 50 apartments and 2,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. Belford House is a seven-storey, 23,000 sq. ft. office building which is currently owned by AMA. Douglas House extends over five floors with a total area of around 14,768 sq. ft. – AMA owns the ground and first floor. The two buildings are adjacent to one another and inter-connected through the first floor.

Joint Managing Directors of AMA Homes, Mike and Ali Afshar, commented:

“Last year saw a 17% increase in new prospective buyers registering in the second quarter and a 3% increase in viewings year on year. However, this rising demand has not been matched by an uptake in supply which has resulted in heightened competition for best in class properties and some selling for above their Home Report valuations. The team at OakNorth worked tirelessly to get the deal completed in the timeframe we required and we appreciated the speed at which they responded to our queries.”

In a joint statement, Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance, and Damien Hughes, Property Finance Director at OakNorth, commented:

“This is a very exciting transaction for us – it is our first to a Scottish business and we’re delighted to be working with such a well-established and experienced management team. AMA Homes have an incredibly strong property portfolio and are behind several of the country’s award-winning developments, including Evolution West Port and Springside in Fountainbridge. We look forward to working with them in the future and have no doubt that the redevelopment will be a huge success.”