The collaboration offers local councils confidence that the specialist mortgage finance necessary to service custom build sites is available from the outset, and is supplied by local brokers with the right knowledge.
The partnership aims to remove some of the issues of developers and enablers not being able to place enough of their loans, which can traditionally be a stumbling block for the early stages of custom and serviced-plot sites.
“A lot of brokers don’t understand serviced-plots,” said Raymond Connor, BuildStore CEO, “which is why we’ve been running broker roadshows to skill up regional financiers.
“Larger sites need a range of lenders prepared to offer lending. This spread needs to be in place early on to ensure that councils and developers/enablers have the confidence that there will be sufficient readily-available financial products to actually service the site.”
Having already worked alongside Safeguard with Persimmon subsidiary Charles Church on its Newcastle Great Park site, BuildLoan is now offering financial packaging through Safeguard on Charles Church’s Seaton Vale site in Ashington, Northumberland. BuildLoan is already offering 95% Loan-To-Value self-build mortgages, and is working to create a range of products for the wider custom build market.
Route to specialist finance
For each new site, BuildLoan creates a lender brief to ensure there are sufficient lenders on board to supply mortgage finance across a range of products. BuildLoan’s new partner approach offers buyers the chance to deal with local brokers with local knowledge, who have the specialist custom and self-build knowledge that these sites rely on.
“This is backed up by advice from BuildLoan’s representatives, who will have visited the site and can offer targeted case support. Through our BuildLoan broker training days we’ve identified those brokers who are enthusiastic about this dynamic new market, and rolled out training for them.”
BuildStore is making the point that, in order to flourish, custom build needs consumers to be able to engage with advisers who are operating in their region, who understand it and are able to offer local experience. This helps inspire confidence and trust in the route for the consumer.
There is a longer game at play here too, in that by being an early engager, BuildLoan wants to be seen as a specialist in custom build. Effectively, it is positioning itself so that local authorities working to permission custom and self-build sites can ensure the correct level of mortgage funding is available from the start, helping to guarantee a smooth journey to build out.
“While we’re putting an emphasis on facilitating the custom build homes market, really this is about addressing financial concerns around the entire Right To Build, offering surety that enables projects to be planned in,” said Connor.
BuildStore’s long-term commitment to custom build products reflects the potential it sees in the market. And it recognises that in order to fulfil its potential, custom build companies need to work to engage the consumer and simplify the offering as much as possible. Sales are crucial to growth – it has to be achievable if it’s to truly offer a complementary route to spec built houses.