Hilltop Completes £3m Loan For Eco-Friendly Residential Development In South Molton, North Devon

Funds advised by Hilltop Credit Partners, have completed a £3m loan to build a sustainable residential development in the historic market town of South Molton.

25 August 2020

Funds advised by Hilltop Credit Partners, have completed a £3m loan to build a sustainable residential development in the historic market town of South Molton.

The project is being led by experienced property developer Jamie MacDonald-Murray, founder of Talo Homes, which is exclusively focused on delivering affordably priced, environmentally friendly housing in the South West of England. All of the planned units will qualify for the Help to Buy scheme, with sales targeted for late 2021 / early 2022.

The finance will be used for the site acquisition and ground-up development of 14 eco-friendly residential units, comprised of eight detached and six semi-detached houses. The units will be built using a modular, timber-frame construction system to deliver high-quality, energy-efficient homes at competitive prices. Each house will benefit from off-street parking and private garden space. The site is located near the centre of this historic market town, known as the “Gateway to Exmoor”.

The property market in the South West of England is currently experiencing strong sales volumes of newbuild homes and rising property prices, driven by local demand, migration from the South East, and a region-wide deficit of new-build homes. Rightmove notes in its August 2020 report: “The out-of-city exodus has helped push prices to record levels in Devon and Cornwall . . . where working from home means a different lifestyle much closer to your new doorstep.”

Across the UK, agreed property sales were up 38% y/y for the period 12 July to 8 August, with asking prices up 4.7% y/y, according to Rightmove. The strength has been attributed to a number of factors, including strong levels of pent-up demand in the market, recent changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax regime, and fundamental shifts in working / living preferences that have emerged throughout the UK’s Covid lockdown.

Commenting on the deal, Jamie MacDonald-Murray, Founder of Talo Homes, said:

“I am thrilled to be funding this project with Hilltop Credit Partners, who understand the complexities involved with development finance. Despite the economic uncertainties that emerged throughout the funding process, Hilltop delivered on their commitments. We believe this is an exciting development, which should attract strong demand from both local buyers and the increasing number of residents across the UK looking to move further away from large cities.”

Jacob Andersen, Associate Partner at Hilltop commented:

“We are pleased to be working with Jamie and his team, who bring decades of residential real estate development experience to the table. We believe Talo’s product – which combines high-quality construction and design, with green space, energy efficiency, and affordability – caters perfectly to today’s prospective home buyers, and we look forward to seeing the finished product.

This deal brings our total funding commitment for 2020 to approximately £30m, and we are sitting on a strong pipeline for the balance of the year. We will continue to go the extra mile to help SME developers fund their projects by offering an attractive one-stop funding solution.”