Development Finance

Compare development finance loans from 50+ lenders & model deals in minutes

How it works

The quickest & easiest way to search for development finance

Compare loans from 50+ development finance lenders

See how much you could borrow against a specific project & at what rate

Check detailed eligibility criteria to avoid wasting time & money

Ensure your deal stacks & make smarter investment decisions


Hear what borrowers, brokers & lenders have to say

Concept Group

Areeb Azam

"The benefit of Brickflow is instant information in a snapshot. You can see what various lenders are going to offer you, meaning you can move more quickly on deals and put an offer in."


Julian Ingall

"This is incredibly useful technology. Twelve months ago, we knew what lenders' pricing and appetite was - but today, in an ever changing market place, it's incredibly difficult to keep up."


Bob Rowbotham

“A comprehensive and clear information pack from Brickflow allowing for a full understanding of the proposition, allowing me to asses and provide robust Indicative Terms for the Client."

Explore lenders

Development Finance Lenders

  • Our Lenders - Avamore Capital
    Avamore Capital
  • Our Lenders - Hampshire Trust Bank
    Hampshire Trust Bank
  • Our Lenders - MSP Capital
    MSP Capital
  • Our Lenders - Shawbrook
  • Triple Point
    Triple Point

Ready to run your numbers through Brickflow?


What is property development finance?

Property development finance is a short-term loan used to finance the construction, conversion or refurbishment of buildings. Normally arranged through high street banks and specialist lenders, it can cover part of the initial land/site purchase and up to 100% of the build costs. The borrower repays the loan by selling or refinancing the completed project.


How much can you borrow? £150,000 - no limit
Loan term Typically, between 9 and 48 months
Interest Rates Currently, between 8% and 15%
Loan to Gross Development Value Up to 75%
Loan to Cost Up to 90% as standard (up to 100% is available)


Finance for property development can cover various project types, including;

  • Residential: Building housing and flats, whether individual homes or multi-unit sites/ apartment blocks
  • Commercial: Retail centres, warehouses, storage facilities, care homes, hotels, restaurants, etc.
  • Mixed-use: Developments with residential and commercial units in the same building or site
  • Permitted development: Certain work that can be carried out without planning permission on your home or certain conversions of commercial buildings to residential use
  • Industrial: Infrastructure, power stations, research and development properties, heavy manufacturing (there is some crossover with commercial spaces like wholesale warehouses and distribution centres) 

Why is development finance important?

In the UK, the development finance sector is currently worth around £9 billion annually.

It is the crux of almost all property development. Not many people have millions of pounds lying around spare, so for most projects to actually go ahead, developers need access to funding. 

This niche funding specifically supports the property development process, with lenders taking the time to understand the project in detail and tailor loans accordingly. 

How does development finance work?

Development finance works in two distinct phases, these include:

  • Phase 1: Acquisition of land
  • Phase 2: Funding the construction process

Phase 1 is straightforward enough, a loan is provided to secure the land. Phase two is a segmented approach, with payments made in tranches at key points throughout the construction process. 

The specifics of the tranches (how much and how often) are agreed from the outset with the lender’s Independent Monitoring Surveyor (IMS) to align with the building schedule. This can change as the project evolves, but accuracy is essential when planning the build costs and schedule to ensure that there is adequate cash flow throughout the project.

Lenders will monitor the progress of the build, ensuring it corresponds to what was presented in your loan application and that the project is staying on track. Paying development finance loans in stages mitigates risks for the lender but also works for the borrower by avoiding funds being ‘drawn down’ to sit unused in the bank, accumulating interest charges.

How much can someone borrow?

Development finance loans are complex to arrange, which makes them resource-intensive to the lenders due to the man-hours and team of professionals engaged. Based on this, most lenders won’t consider applications below £150,000.

Similarly –  due to economies of scale –  lenders prefer working with bigger loan amounts as it takes a similar level of resource to underwrite a £500,000 loan as it does a £5m loan.

How much can be borrowed depends on four key metrics:

  • Gross Development Value (GDV): A % loan cap against GDV (what the site is expected to be worth on completion)
  • Total project costs: A % cap against total project costs (including loan interest & loan arrangement fee)
  • Borrower equity: A minimum % input of client deposit / equity
  • Day one land leverage: A % cap on day 1 land leverage 

The lender will complete professional valuation reports of the site and building plans and calculate Loan to GDV (LTGDV) and Loan to Cost (LTC) to determine their lending limits. The loan amount needs to respect all four of the above percentage caps and whichever cap is hit first determines the gross loan amount.

The criteria and lending parameters will differ across development finance lenders in the UK. 

How is the loan repaid?

The loan repayment, or exit strategy, is established from the outset with it being key to securing a development loan. After all, the lenders want to know how you plan on repaying their investment! 

The repayment of a loan generally happens in one of two ways:

  • Sale of the project: An outright sale will repay all loans, mezzanine investors and equity input
  • Refinancing of the project:  If the developer keeps the build for rental, they will refinance on a longer-term loan.

In either scenario, the lenders receive what is owed to them.

Residential vs commercial development finance: What’s the difference?

Depending on your project, you will either have a commercial or residential development finance loan. 

As the name suggests, residential development finance is used for developing residential housing or flats that the developer will then go on to rent or sell (think Redrow, Taylor Wimpey, etc.). They are not designed to be used by people building their own homes  (a self-build mortgage can be used for this).

Commercial development finance is used by the borrower to develop commercial spaces to rent, sell or use as their business premises. Examples of commercial property include:

  • Offices
  • Warehouses, storage & logistics space
  • Student accommodation
  • Retail space, restaurants & leisure centres
  • Medical facilities & care homes
  • Hotels
  Residential Development Finance Commercial Development Finance
Loan use Construction, refurbishment of residential property, inc. conversion of previous commercial building Construction, refurbishment or conversions of commercial and mixed-use property
Loan terms Typically, between 9 and 48 months Typically, between 9 and 48 months
Regulated/ Unregulated Regulated only if 40% or more of the development will be used as a dwelling by the borrower Unregulated
Exit strategy Sale or refinance Sale or refinance*
Loan to Cost Up to 90% normally, but higher leverage is possible Up to 90% normally, but higher leverage is possible
Loan to GDV Up to 75% Up to 75%
Interest rates Between 8% and 15% Between 8% and 15%

* Where the borrower intends to keep the commercial building for their business premises, they must demonstrate they can refinance on a commercial mortgage. If a tenant will occupy the building, lenders will require a formal pre-let or, if the plan is to sell, a pre-sale agreement.

Types of property development finance

Funding a project will likely involve a combination of different types of property development finance, requiring an upfront equity (deposit) contribution from personal funds or private investors. Any financing gaps may be filled with secondary (smaller) loans, forming a Capital Stack typically with three layers: senior debt, mezzanine finance, and equity. Let’s explore in greater detail below:

  • Senior Debt: This primary funding source covers 50-70% of site costs and up to 100% of build costs.. As the first-charge loan, it's prioritised for repayment.
  • Mezzanine Finance: Serving as a second charge loan, it reduces equity needs and carries higher rates due to its repayment after senior debt.
  • Equity Finance: Normally structured as ‘preferred equity’, so the investor is paid out before the borrower(s), equity finance fills the gaps between the debt and the purchase price or value; it normally involves profit-sharing and is repaid after senior debt and mezzanine loans.
  • Bridge Loans: Although not development finance per se, they offer short-term funding solutions typically used for initial land acquisition or to repay development finance, or for lighter build / refurbishment work, with rates starting at around 5%. Interested in finding out more? Take a look at our bridging finance page for more information.
  • Joint Venture Finance (or 100% finance): This partnership offers 100% funding for projects, involving a profit split between investor and developer. This can be a good option when a borrower's funds are limited or invested elsewhere.

To learn more, take a look at our short guide that covers the different types of property development finance.

Example of Funding Structure

The following example demonstrates how to finance property development:

  • £500,000 land/site costs
  • £800,000 build costs
  • £2,000,0000 GDV

Total development funds required: £500k + £800k = £1,300,000 plus lender costs. 

If the lender offers 100% of build costs and 60% of the site, the senior loans would be £1.1m 

The £200,000 shortfall, plus added lender costs, is funded by the developer’s cash.

Alternatively, they can look to reduce the deposit further by arranging a mezzanine loan or equity funding.

What Can Development Finance Be Used For?

Development finance can fund a huge range of property development projects, from single dwellings or commercial spaces to the ground-up construction of 400+ residential units.

Whether commercial, residential or mixed-use developments, what is developed is partly determined by local community needs and the physical restrictions of the site. 

Examples of what development finance is generally used for include:

  • Land Acquisition: Land purchase for residential, commercial, or mixed-use development that has planning and is shovel-ready. (If the site is pre-planning, a bridging loan would be used).
  • New Builds: Construction of new properties, including single-family homes, apartment buildings, office spaces, retail centres, gyms, warehouses and more.
  • Renovations and Refurbishments: Renovating, restoring, or upgrading existing properties to increase their value
  • Conversion Projects: Converting properties from one use to another, such as turning commercial buildings into residential units or vice versa.
  • Property Expansion: Adding or expanding existing properties, such as adding new floors, extensions, or additional buildings
  • Infrastructure Development: Development of infrastructure related to property development, including roads, utilities, and landscaping.

The Cost of Property Development Finance

The cost of property development finance varies with every product, project and lender – and it doesn’t just come down to the interest rates. Different lenders use diverse criteria to assess risk, leading to various loan amounts, interest rates, and fees. Brickflow aims to simplify this complexity, offering instant, live loan results for more accurate borrowing cost estimates.

Interest Rates & Fees

Interest rates for development finance are currently between 8% and 15%. The rate you secure depends on several factors:

  • What percentage of the land/site value you are borrowing (Loan to Value)
  • What percentage of the build costs you’re borrowing (Loan to Cost)
  • The value of your finished project (Gross Development Value)
  • The level of risk for the lender, considering your experience and CV as a developer, the project, your exit strategy, your marketing budgeting, your financial situation, and your level of equity contribution

You can read more about how lenders assess applications and determine their lending criteria and rates in our guide on Building the Perfect Property Presentation.

Understanding Costs Beyond Interest Rates

Interest is usually charged monthly on the outstanding loan balance, allowing for potential savings if the loan is repaid early. Additionally, loans include various fees:

  • Arrangement Fees: Charged at setup, typically 1-2% of the loan
  • Exit Fees: Charged upon loan exit, based either on the loan amount or GDV, impacting overall cost significantly
  • Valuation Fees: Vary with the project's size or GDV, lender-instructed independent project valuation
  • Professional Fees: Covering expenses for architects, surveyors, project managers, and solicitors

Chasing the lowest interest rate can be misleading, as it may come with lower lending limits. Specialist lenders might have higher rates but offer up to 90% Loan to Cost (LTC) ratios, significantly decreasing your deposit requirements.

Impact of LTV and LTC Ratios

Below we explore the impact of LTV and LTC Ratios

  • LTC (Loan to Cost) Ratio: Compares financing against total project costs, influencing interest rates based on risk
  • LTV (Loan to Value) Ratio: Assesses loan against land purchase price, affecting land leverage
  • LTGDV (Loan to Gross Development Value) Ratio: Compares loan against expected project value upon completion, with higher ratios indicating higher risk and rates

Lower ratios may achieve lower interest rate results, but securing a loan with 65% LTC compared to 90% frees up your capital, potentially allowing you to invest in another project simultaneously. Having simultaneous projects at different stages of the development cycle can earn you far more than the savings made by opting for a loan with a lower interest rate.

Calculating Overall Finance Costs

Most borrowers lack frequent market interaction, leading to a gap in understanding optimal borrowing strategies. 

Brickflow offers a platform for quick comparisons of loans, interest rates, equity requirements, and what we call ‘true monthly costs’, which we believe is the best way to compare loans fairly. 

Here’s our formula for calculating true monthly costs:

  • (Interest Rate / 12) + (arrangement fee + exit fee) / number of months.
    • E.g. (9% / 12) + (3.5% / 18) = 0.94% per month


What are the pros and cons of development finance?

As with any type of financial loan, there exist pros and cons to development finance. 

The Pros of Development Finance

  • As a tailored finance solution, it can fund an array of projects, with the only limit being the strength of the project
  • First-time developers who present a viable project with the right due diligence can access finance
  • Incremental release of funds ensures adequate cash flow throughout construction and helps keep the project on track
  • Lenders can be flexible when there’s a close working relationship, and you have maintained honest communication throughout 

The Cons of Development Finance

  • Securing development finance is a long process that requires a comprehensive application covering project details, developer and professional team’s CVs and thorough market research (Brickflow’s lender-favoured online application covers everything lenders need and like, to know so they can make quick, confident decisions)
  • Interest rates and fees can be higher than other property loans due to the implied lender risks

Other Risks and Challenges in Property Development Finance

The ‘cons’ are known from the outset, but there are also risks with property development that are harder to mitigate against;

  • Market Risks: Economic downturns and changes in real estate market trends can have a significant impact on the outcome of a project
  • Project-Specific Risks: Projects often overrun on budget and time. But delays can mean overpaying for materials, missing the opportunity to deliver to a prime market, and extra borrowing costs, all of which eat into your profit
  • Financial Risks: If you do run over, extending your development finance loan can be costly, with penalty fees and exposure to interest rate fluctuations

Whilst you can’t control the property market, you can keep your project on track by working with the right professional team – a breakdown in the relationship between the developer and the main building contractor can be disastrous for a project, so make sure you know your team inside-out. 


Development Finance FAQs

Can you get 100% development finance?

Yes. However, think of it more as a joint venture with a build partner rather than a lender offering you all of the funding to complete your own project. Typically, the build partner purchases the land (which acts as a security), and if the scheme is delivered on time, on budget and as expected, you’ll receive a 50/50% profit share (after redemption of GDC and interest).

Does planning permission need to be in place?

Most lenders require planning permission to be in place before funding, as it significantly impacts the project's viability and risk profile. Products such as Planning Bridging can facilitate a site purchase and cover the costs of obtaining planning.

How do I repay the loan?

A development finance loan is repaid by selling the completed project or refinancing. Refinancing could be either long-term, such as a Buy-to-Let mortgage where you intend to keep the building to let, or short-term finance, like a Development Exit Bridge. 

Who offers property development finance?

Banks, specialist lenders and private finance/investment companies. Most borrowers can only name a handful of lenders- from previous borrowing or big-name banks – but there are 100s of lenders in this sector. You can access the breadth of this market with a 2-minute search on Brickflow.

Is development finance risky?

Every finance solution inherently carries risk, and so does development finance. Property development is subject to property market volatility, unavoidable project delays and cost overruns. There are many moving parts and third parties involved. It’s crucial to mitigate risks by carrying out extensive due diligence, exact costing, extensive market research, and deep-diving into the team you work with. 

How much deposit do I need for development finance?

Deposit requirements vary greatly depending on the lender, the project, the location, the borrower, and their financial standing, but it typically ranges from 20% to 40% of the total project cost.

How long does it take to secure development finance?

It takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months to secure your development finance deal, depending on the speed of the application process, the experience and expertise of other professionals involved or the project's complexity. Specialist lenders tend to use solicitors that practise solely in development finance which significantly speeds up the process. As does a comprehensive Development Appraisal that covers every detail that lenders need. 

What is the typical loan term for development finance?

Again, this depends on the project scope, but most loans will be around 9-48 months. 

Can I use development finance for both residential and commercial projects?

Yes, development finance can be used for a wide range of projects, including residential, commercial and mixed-use developments.

Can I apply for development finance if I have bad credit?

Yes. A lender’s primary concern is the strength of the project and the exit strategy. Being upfront about any issues with your credit file from the outset will help gain lender trust and confidence, rather than it being uncovered later down the line. Where bad credit can be an issue is if you intend to refinance on completion as securing long-term finance from a traditional lender is more difficult. 

How long does it take to get approved for development finance?

Whilst the process of securing and finalising details of development finance can take months, you can achieve initial approval for finance in a matter of days. However, some lenders will have different requirements and processes and can take weeks to offer initial approval. With Brickflow, you could achieve a Decision in Principle in hours (our record is 8 minutes!). This is because our Smart Appraisal covers every detail a lender needs to know for any application so they can make quick and confident decisions.

Can I get development finance?

Yes, if your deal stacks up. The critical factor is that you have done comprehensive market research, can present realistic and minutely accurate costings, have a viable exit strategy and demonstrate that your development will return a profit. In addition, ensuring you or your team has the experience to deliver the project on time and within budget is paramount to the lender.