Octane Capital completes £7.3m bridge

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Matt Smith

‘Product-less’ lender, Octane Capital, today announced the completion of a £7.3m bridging loan secured against 11 residential properties in North London, comprising 65 self-contained flats.

Financed pre-Crash when underwriting was less robust, the portfolio, with an aggregate value of £12.6m, has numerous long-term planning issues.

These range from an unauthorised loft conversion in an otherwise consented building to fully unauthorised building reconfigurations. As a result, the borrower, a client of Sirius Property Finance, was unable to refinance through a now more risk-averse high street.

The 15-month, fully retained bridging loan will provide the borrower, aged 76, with the time and flexibility to secure all necessary consents and authorisations and refinance the portfolio in full as part of his estate planning.

Despite its complexity, the loan took just four weeks from initial enquiry to completion, a process that included a 250-page complex portfolio valuation carried out by Lambert Smith Hampton in under a fortnight.

Nick Christofi, Director, Sirius Property Finance, commented:

“Octane have made it clear they want to focus on loans that other lenders consider unworkable and they’ve certainly lived up to that here. It’s a loan no other lender in the market could have completed given the extensive planning-related hurdles and red flags but the Octane risk team, led by Matt Smith and Alex Tyrwhitt, managed to overcome them one by one. My client now has the time and resource to get all the consent issues resolved before refinancing on the high street.”

Matt Smith, pictured, Director of Risk, Octane Capital, added:

“At Octane we relish detailed underwriting and this loan, with a particular focus on securing retrospective planning consents, was one of the most complex we have worked on to date. Underwriting on the high street before the Global Financial Crisis was far less robust and as a result we are seeing a lot more loans like this surface. Nick Christofi and the Sirius team were as focused as ever, while special thanks must go to Stephen Whittaker and Seray Kitchingman of Weightmans. The work of Simon Jones, Andrew Lewis and Angela Lui of Lambert Smith Hampton, who delivered a 250-page complex portfolio valuation in under a fortnight, was also extremely impressive.”