Fledgling funder seeks to bridge gap

Jonathan and Steve SealeyHope Capital, the short-term property bridging finance lender set up six months ago by Jonathan Sealey, recorded its best month in March with five completions and £1.5m drawn down by borrowers.

Sealey is a former development surveyor at Liverpool-based Maghull Developments and investor development manager at Aquarius Equity Partners. Hope Capital is funded privately by Steve Sealey, Jonathan's father and co-founder of AM Paper in Skelmersdale which was sold for £200m in 2000.

Jonathan, based in Aintree, North Liverpool, commented: "March has been a fantastic month for Hope Capital in terms of bridging deals completed, and shows that we are serious about gaining traction in this emerging market whilst the banks continue to be closed to property developers and investors.

"We completed our first deal in January of this year, however since then our pipeline and completed deals have gone from strength to strength, and we have no intention of seeing that drop into the future."

The five deals completed in March fit with Hope Capital's criteria of up to £500,000 per deal with a six-month maximum loan term.

Jonathan continued: "Each deal completed to date is remarkably different and tailored to our client's requirements. As Hope Capital are a principle lender, we are able to break away from a rigid model of lending criteria many companies have in place and look to be as flexible and as entrepreneurial as possible for borrowers who require short term, property backed finance."

Interest rates start from 1.25% per month but terms are different for each case. Jonathan added: "As we are the principle lender, although we have strict lending criteria, we can also look at each deal on its own merits. Being a Chartered RICS Development and Planning surveyor also means I can often look at some development or planning related cases from the borrowers side of the fence in terms of realistic exit timescales and strategies. We see ourselves as entrepreneurial finance for property in an emerging and interesting market, and one where the banks are closed for lending where we are not.

"Every loan we have facilitated for a client has been different, with some paying interest monthly, some rolling interest and fees into the term of the loan and paying on redemption, and some a mixture of the two."

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