BCF October Newsletter
October 2022 BCF Newsletter
We have put together a newsletter, which we will be emailing out each month to stay in touch with you and to keep you up to date with Blaise and the market in general. The sharing of information and insights is as important as it has ever been in these continued volatile and uncertain times, so we hope you can take something useful away from it.
Market updates and insights
We discussed in our last newsletter the expectation that cost of living / inflationary pressures and the response to government interventions were expected to be a key driver to the Bank of England base rate rises. However, I don’t think any of us expected quite the rollercoaster we have witnessed over the last month!
After the government announced a series of tax cuts, stamp duty threshold increases and general growth stimulating measures – the financial markets responded to the lack of clarity on how these measures would be funded with a significant devaluation of the GBP. The Bank of England announced that they would be purchasing UK Gilts in order to help support the market, which temporarily halted the fall. However, given the short term volatility the initial response from many lenders was to retreat from the market and re-evaluate their positions. This understandably led to a period of uncertainty for many clients, where our key focus at Blaise Commercial Finance was to provide reassurance, clarity and where appropriate, alternative solutions for their financing needs.
Over the last few days we are starting to observe more stability in the general financial markets. Lenders are cautiously returning to the market and relaunching products. Pricing has increased – mainly driven by the fact that GBP swap rates (which impacts the cost of funding for many lenders) are approaching 5%, significantly increasing the current cost of funds for these lenders. Rate rises have had a lesser impact on Bridging and Development loan interest rates so far, primarily as many of the lenders in this space have private lines of funding in place where investors seek an annual return, and are therefore not as exposed to the short term volatility. Many lenders continue to be overwhelmed by the volume of applications so we have noticed in some cases that pricing (be it Arrangement fees or rates) have been increased at a greater rate than the increased cost of funds, in order to limit the number of new applications and normalise lead times.
In line with headline rate increases, the stress rate at which lenders conduct their affordability assessments has also increased, meaning that in many cases Borrowers are not able to raise the same quantum of debt as they were able to prior to the rate increases. We have noticed that HMO financing has been impacted less than regular BTL in terms of affordability assessments as the rental yields tend to be more favourable. However, there are still various options available to some Borrowers such as “top-slicing” where supplementary income from other parts of the portfolio or client’s employed income can be used to demonstrate affordability.
The outlook for interest rates is interesting – there is a widespread acceptance that this “adjustment” will remain in the short/medium term. Depending on risk appetite and personal outlook, some clients are exploring options for short term finance with no exit penalties – in order to be in a good position to refinance onto a longer term product if rates are reduced in the future. Other clients are exploring variable/tracker products in the short to medium term with the understanding they are directly exposed to base rate movements, and some clients prefer to have the security of committing to a 1 year, 2 year or 5 year fixed rate to limit their outgoings.
We believe the key to navigating this unusual time is to work with experienced professionals who are well connected within the market and are able to offer a range of creative solutions. Blaise Commercial Finance works with a wide range of lenders –within the commercial, property investment and property development space in which we operate, so the availability of lending remains good amongst many of the challenger banks, specialist finance lenders and in certain cases high street lenders. Please do get in touch if there is a particular transaction you would like to discuss or if you would just like to get an up to date understanding of the finance products currently available.
In September, Blaise Commercial Finance hosted a table at the NACFB Broker Awards at Edgbaston Cricket ground, which was a great opportunity to get together as a team but also connect with our peers. It was encouraging to experience the positive sentiment in the room, even though some lenders were revising their rates during the event!
We are always keen to hear of any networking events that are going on in the area, so please do get in touch if you are attending an event that may be of interest – this would also be a good opportunity for us to catch up!
Support for Charities
One of our team, Robin Mayo, recently hosted a golf day attended by over 40 business professionals which raised £1,000 for two local charities – St. Richard’s hospice and Wooden Spoon in Worcester.
At the NACFB Broker Awards, we as a team were pleased to support the NACFB Charity partner - Newman Holiday Trust, an entirely voluntary organisation which provides summer holidays for children with special needs. In total the event raised over £10,000 for this deserving organisation.
Meet the Blaise Team
Each month, we will introduce you to a member of our team so you can get a better feel for who we are in addition to your main point of contact. This month we are introducing Rakhee Ledder, one of our Directors covering London and the South East.
I joined Blaise Commercial Finance in December 2018, my background is in Leverage Finance Capital Markets at investment banks such as BNP Paribas, RBS, Fortis and ABN Amro.
My exposure to property development and investment has evolved over the years with my direct involvement in schemes such as luxury student builds in the Midlands. As an investor in the HMO market, I see one of my strengths as being the ability to empathise and relate to both property developers and investors. I have learnt a great deal from this experience, and I find this insight extremely useful as I ensure all my efforts go into securing the best deal for my clients.
Away from work, I enjoy time with my family, which includes young twin daughters, plus going to the gym (not as often as I should!) Completed transactions
Here is a snapshot of some of our recently completed transactions for our clients:
£2.89m Development Finance facility to support a client building two luxury properties in Poole, Dorset
£850,000 residential investment portfolio refinance (including buying out of a co-owner) in Worcestershire
£690,000 Commercial Investment mortgage to support a new purchase of an industrial property in North Somerset
£352,000 BTL refinance / capital raise against an existing portfolio in East Midlands
£422,500 non status commercial mortgage to refinance a F&B shop in Devon – completed within 28 days
£250,000 unsecured loan to purchase development land (contaminated so secured loan not possible) for a manufacturing client in Somerset
£206,000 semi commercial mortgage for a foreign national client refinancing two mixed use properties in the North East
£200,000 business loan to a manufacturing business in North Somerset to support their growth plans
£117,000 holiday let mortgage for the purchase of a Grade II listed thatched roof cottage In Somerset
We hope you have enjoyed reading and encourage you to get in touch if you have any questions about any topics raised within the newsletter or have clients who need support in raising finance.