Clever Lending has reported an increased in commercial finance business as a result of the government making the permitted development rights permanent.
The master broker has been supporting clients to convert unused office space and light industrial units to viable housing, often in the form of flats or Houses in Multiple Occupancy, as part of the governments scheme to convert such spaces to residential use.
Although planning approval will still need to be sought via the local authority, the drive for new housing will overarch the need for planning, and more such schemes will be approved as a matter of course.
Sonny Gosai, sales and operations manager, said: “This year we have seen many of our lender partners open up access to new lines of funding which has increased the liquidity in the commercial sector and initiatives such as permitted development are helping lenders to lend and developers to get the finance they need.
“They can either tear down the existing office building or renovate it to provide much needed housing in local communities.
“We have had enquiries from many of our broker partners with clients who are entrepreneurial developers looking to benefit from the recent permitted development rights ruling, by turning unused offices in to apartments or HMOs.
“With a steady rise in the number of lenders offering competitively priced commercial loans, we have successfully placed these case with our specialist lender partners.”
Under the new rules those developers who have already got approval for residential use under the existing permitted development rights will now have three years to complete the change of use, extending the date for completion to May 2019.
Again this will open opportunities for commercial and development finance applications going forward where finance is still to be arranged.