A company that specialises in buying commercial property
The client had won a semi-commercial property freehold at auction just before enforcement of the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK and needed to move quickly. They would typically turn to a commercial lender to access finance, but as their usual lender had withdrawn from the market, they reached out to their broker for help. Their broker recommended a short-term bridging loan to provide the client some breathing space before they could refinance onto longer-term commercial finance. They recommended West One, having worked with us on numerous bridging cases previously.
The property the client purchased was a semi-commercial building in the South Coast of England. One of the tenants of the building was a Tesco store, on a 10-year lease with a possible break clause in two years’ time.
As the client wanted to achieve a Loan-to-Value above 60%, a standard Red Book RICS Valuation was required (a Red Book valuation involves a RICS valuer assessing the property and providing a report adhering to the RICS rules and guidelines). This of course meant that the valuer would need to physically inspect the property, as safely as possible. Which was a big challenge during a nationwide lockdown.
During the Coronavirus lockdown, a large portion of valuation firms and lenders stopped conducting physical valuations. However, we were still working with our valuations team to offer remote or desktop property valuations where possible. Although, in this scenario as we needed a physical valuation, we reached out to our surveyor network to explore who would be willing to physically go out and visit the property.
After many phone calls we were able to identify a surveyor to carry out the valuation. Despite the obstacles in place, the report was completed extremely quickly and efficiently. Fortunately for the client, the valuation amount was higher than the agreed purchase price accepted at auction.
Unlike traditional lenders, we approach complex cases entirely hands on and look for creative solutions to ensure success.
Although much of the property market was simply on lockdown – including many lenders who had taken a pause from lending, we stayed calm and carried on.
We processed our client’s application with the absolute speed it deserved. With thanks to our expert team and strong industry partnerships we were able to ensure a physical, accurate valuation. This much needed valuation underpinned enabled the client to achieve their desired bridging loan.
Having achieved a 12-month bridging loan, the client was able to complete on his auction purchase and look ahead to repay the bridging loan by refinancing onto a commercial facility.