Fox Davidson are a leading development finance broker in London. We secure finance from £500,000 with no upper limit. Funding is available for all property asset classes. Our portfolio includes student housing, the hotel and leisure sector and multiple unit new build sites.

Property Development Finance Options

Property development finance will fall into several categories and they are;

Light Refurbishment

Light refurbishment finance is used to describe non-structural refurbishments that do not require a change of use to the property. Purchasing a London property to replace the bathrooms and kitchens and decorate internally would fall into this category.

Heavy Refurbishment

A heavy refurbishment will include structural changes to a property or a change of use, perhaps from C3 residential use to C4 HMO use. Heavy refurbishments can be completed under permitted development or may need planning permission.


Property development finance for conversions can be completed under permitted development or may need planning. Examples of conversions include changing a single building into multiple units. These schemes require the developer to have completed previous developments.

New Build

New build developments from the ground up may involve the demolition of an existing building or the development of a brown field site into multiple new build houses and/or apartments. As with a conversion we will need the developer to have experience and to be working with a competent professional team including building contractors and an architect.

What are the terms for development finance in London?

The funding terms will be affected by the loan amount, the loan to value, the amount of work involved and the property developers experience. Our own experience spans 25 years’ of funding London property. Fox Davidson negotiate the best development finance terms to match your funding requirements. Typical finance terms include:

  • 80% of total costs including the land purchase price, the stamp duty, all professional fees, and 100% of your build costs.
  • The maximum loan to gross development value should come in around 65%
  • Mezzanine funding is possible to 90% of total costs and to 75% of GDV
  • JV equity funding of up to 100% of total costs is possible using our JV partners

Your Questions:

What profit does a developer need to make?

Most property development finance lenders in London require the developer to be making at least a 20% profit.

Can I still get property development finance in London if the site does not have planning permission?

A way to get around the issue of planning will be to utilise Bridging finance whilst planning permission is obtained.

Bridging finance is a short-term loan secured on property or land in the UK. The finance will bridge the gap and is replaced by property development finance or may be repaid from the sale of the asset.

How quickly can I secure property development finance?

The lenders we work with are focused on lending funds for property development finance only. This means that fast lending decisions can be made. With a deal presented in the right way by Fox Davidson Commercial we have secured light refurbishment development funding within 5 days. For more in depth funding such as conversions or new builds the timescales will be longer. The speed at which funding can happen is determined by the developers’ ability to get the necessary paperwork in place and for the initial development appraisal surveys and valuations to take place. A solicitor with plenty of experience of securing finance for property developments is also essential.

What paperwork is required for a property development finance loan?

  • Developer CV’s showcasing previous developments
  • Development appraisal including build costs and schedule of works
  • Details of your professional design and build team
  • Planning
  • Due diligence – Proof of ID and proof of funds

Further paperwork may be required depending on the lender and/or the proposed scheme.

Top 10 Tips

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  1. Use a broker – They will save you time, money and a lot of stress.
  2. Put in place a good professional team; a builder, an architect and a solicitor familiar with development finance. Lenders will need you to have an experienced team working with you.
  3. CV’s – Make sure your CV of development experience (if any) is up to date and easy to read.
  4. Paperwork – Ensure that you have up to date accounts/tax returns and that bank statements are in order as some lenders will ask for these.
  5. Planning – If the development needs planning ensure you have full planning in place as it will be needed.
  6. Build schedule – We can work with you to put together a well-presented build schedule including costing. The costs need to be accurate as they will be tested against current material and build costs.
  7. Exit – Your exit needs to be sound. If not from the sale of the development then a lender will want proof that you can get exit finance by way of a mortgage e.g. a buy to let mortgage.
  8. Contingency – Any project should have a level of funds for contingency built in, ensure you plan for increased costs or delays.
  9. Time Vs Rate – Before you decide to take the cheapest rate bare in mind that some of the best rates come from lenders that also arrange commercial and buy to let mortgages but often these lenders take considerably longer than (slightly more expensive) pure property development finance lenders. What is more important to you?
  10. Contact – Keeping in regular contact with the broker (and therefore lender) at all stages during the application process, build process and sales/refinance period will ensure that the lender knows exactly what is going on and can work with you in the event of delays or requests for extra funds.

To discuss property development finance in London and the South East speak to Fox Davidson Commercial Finance on 0203 519 5590 or email