STAC secures Construction Funding with favourable FIRB terms for high-rise apartment project

Just before Christmas, we had quite an impressive achievement with a funding approval that, to be frank, we expect that many people may not believe - because it's a good deal even in the good times, let alone the current funding environment.

The developers of an inner-city project had recently completed stage 1, comprising more than 100  apartments, nearly all of which settled successfully to clear out the bank's construction facility. However, when they sought funding for the construction of the stage 2 tower, the incumbent bank's appetite had pulled back significantly - to the point whereby it would be impractical to be able to meet the conditions of approval, which was certainly not a reflection of how things went in Stage 1 for both the Developer and Bank.

STAC Capital were engaged to seek an alternative solution for the construction of stage 2, which carried with it some significant hurdles, including a very large percentage of Chinese FIRB buyers, a new builder, combined with an unwillingness to use a non-bank lender.

There were however many reasons to support the project, including the successful settlements of FIRB buyers in stage 1 (and the manner in which the developer managed the buyers pre-settlement), the deposits held, the support of the bank-panel valuer for the project, as well as a reduced construction risk thanks to work completed in stage 1.

Ultimately, after working through a detailed credit analysis and negotiation process with multiple Banks, a formal approval was issued by an Australian Bank at the level of debt sought by the developer (undisclosed), with an incredibly high allowance for FIRB buyers as qualifying pre-sales, roughly double what is typically allowed and even higher than what were usually the limits even in the boom times of a few years ago when banks were throwing money at developers on generous terms.

Now before the nay-sayers open their mouths, whilst the debt amount is not being disclosed for privacy reasons, no, the LVR was not absurdly low; it wasn't pushing against the LVR limits of the bank's normal policies, but getting this deal across the line came down far more to negotiation and arguing the many strengths of the project - as well as its risks - to get the ultimate bank comfortable with the final terms.

This deal just goes to show that the banks are still open for business, and terms that can be achieved are not necessarily as hard and fast as what bankers may tell you straight off the bat.

Project GRV: $55,000,000 (approx.)