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22nd July 2020
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22nd July 2020

Castlehaven Finance: Financing development delivery

(L-R) David Moriarty; a CH client; and Mark Davenport discuss development plans on site.

Castlehaven Finance provides bridging facilities for site purchases, enabling developers to move more quickly on-site acquisitions, as well as working capital finance for development.

Castlehaven Finance was founded by Clark McCann and Will Aylmer in 2014, in response to the need for alternative development financing in the Irish marketplace, given the reduction in available bank debt for the sector at that time. Since then, the company has advanced property development and bridging finance to the industry in excess of €785 million and is now one of the top alternative finance lenders in Ireland.

Alternative lender

The role of so-called ‘alternative lenders’ in the Irish marketplace has evolved over the past number of years, with much of the standard lending criteria aligning with that of mainstream lenders. Some important differences remain, namely accessibility, speed of decision-making, flexibility and a more bespoke approach to matching lending criteria with the characteristics of the proposed development project.

Castlehaven Finance provides senior development loans on both private and social residential developments, as well as commercial developments throughout Ireland from €1 million, covering up to 90 per cent loan-to-cost. Asset refinance and equity release is also available for sites in ownership. All senior development loans are secured by way of registering a first legal charge on the property. The company also provides 80 per cent loan-to-value corporate bridging finance from €1 million for periods up to 36 months.

Bollarney Woods, Wicklow town: 33 social homes supported by Castlehaven Finance.

The collective experience of the Castlehaven team ensures a speedy turnaround time on lending decisions. Initial due diligence is conducted in a thorough and timely manner in order to provide clients with the fast, flexible, and reliable service we know to be critical.

Ethos in action

The Castlehaven ethos is to redefine development lending, with the needs of the client at the core. We know that a strong relationship of mutual understanding and trust between lender and client is fundamental to successful delivery of any development project. For this reason, our team works closely with clients, taking the time to truly understand not only the project, but the organisation and its objectives.

We do this by making borrowing as simple and straight-forward as possible. While every project requires a customised solution, Castlehaven is consistently transparent in setting out our underwriting approach, our cost of funding, and our lending process.

Social housing

As an alternative lender, Castlehaven has greater flexibility in terms of location for social housing projects and, over the past number of years, our team has worked with developers all over the country on these projects. We understand the wider funding ecosystem for social housing in Ireland, which helps us to work well in partnership to deliver vital homes and site works.

Our assessment of social housing projects is broadly similar to private residential projects, however, proposed projects with joint approved housing body and local authority contracts in place are preferred in areas of population below 5,000. Such proposed projects will be assessed as a matter of priority. We can offer a higher level of funding in provincial areas on social contracts versus private housing schemes.

“As a key member of the development delivery team, Castlehaven Finance prioritises the needs of our clients, while helping them to achieve their development goals. We endeavour to keep the loan process quick and easy to understand. For us, the success of the overall development is enhanced by the relationships we build, the transparency we insist upon, the reliability we know clients need, and the flexibility that only Ireland-based experience can offer.”

In urban areas where there is a strong private market operating concurrently with the social housing market, we can underwrite the transaction based on open market values and would not require the developer to have a social housing contract in advance of closing.

The team at Castlehaven Finance has supported in excess of 30 social housing developments across Ireland to date, delivering projects most recently in counties Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath, Roscommon, Wexford and Wicklow for a number of local authorities directly and through leading approved housing bodies, including Túath, Clúid, Respond, Circle, Oaklee, Clanmil and Co-Operative Housing Ireland. Castlehaven Finance is currently supporting 15 live social housing developments.

We are proud to have played our part in helping to deliver almost 1,100 social homes, which contributes positively to the national social housing targets, as set out under Rebuilding Ireland.

Castlehaven Finance

Established in 2014, Castlehaven Finance has provided development finance for social and private homes to developers, builders and project owners across Ireland in excess of €785 million. With offices in Dublin and Cork, the company currently employs close to 20 people.

The team at Castlehaven Finance have been involved in the delivery of more than 3,500 new homes, both private and social, across the State.

To discuss your project requirements, contact the team.