Surveyors and Property Consultants

Finance Brokerage

Senior Debt, with Prime and Non-Prime Sources


Senior debt is the term used to describe the primary tranche of funding on a property secured by a first ranking charge or mortgage.  In the event of the sale of the property repayment of this type of debt comes ahead of any other loans secured against the property and also the borrower’s own equity stake.


The traditional, prime providers of senior debt have mostly returned to active lending after periods of inactivity although there have been a number of lenders exit from the market altogether.  Where the traditional lenders are now active again it is certainly the case that it is on more conservative terms than in previous times. Whereas up to 2007 prime lenders were often willing to advance up to 80% or more of the value of an investment property this has reduced to an average amongst the prime lenders of between 65% and often less.  This vacuum left by fewer prime lenders and restricted lending has been filled in part by, on the one hand, the emergence of insurance companies and debt funds as prime lenders, and on the other by an expansion in the lending activity by less traditional, non-prime or secondary lenders such as smaller privately owned banks, finance houses, short-term funders and private high net worth lenders.  As well as replacing the lost appetite amongst more traditional lenders the non-prime or secondary lenders are often more willing to consider higher levels of gearing to make deals “work”.


At Keppie Massie we have an extensive network of lending contacts across prime and non-prime sources that we remain close to so that we are constantly aware as to what is achievable and as importantly what is not.  Our clients benefit from this whole of market approach but with the benefit of having only one point of contact working on your behalf to achieve the best possible deal to suit your situation.  Our team’s vast experience of working directly with a variety of differing lenders gives it a strong understanding of what lenders require in any particular proposal and how to structure and present them accordingly to maximum effect.

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