Funds advised by Hilltop Credit Partners, a specialist funding partner for SME residential developers, have completed an £11.2 million loan to Ascena Developments for the redevelopment of the historic, Grade II listed Bishop’s Court hotel in Torquay, Devon.
The project will deliver 15 high-specification houses and 5 flats within a gated community, overlooking Torbay from the Warberries – one of the most desirable residential areas in the English Riviera. The original hotel mansion is to be converted into 5 flats, retaining most of its original Victorian features and set at the centre of the development, with 14 houses and a cottage built upon the original eastern and western flanks.
With the post-Covid shift in homebuyer focus to more provincial areas, the prime residential market outside of London has seen exceptional performance over the past few quarters. The latest figures from Halifax suggest average prices have risen by as much as 17 percent year-on-year, whilst research by one of the leading estate agents in the South West reveals that the Torbay area in particular has experienced one of its strongest annual price jumps in history.
“Hilltop’s enthusiasm for the development matches our own – an elegant building in a picturesque location is the perfect opportunity for current market dynamics. We expect a very successful project,” said on the partnership, Alan Rees of Ascena Developments.
Torbay Council has recently launched a series of regeneration schemes, including significant enhancements to the connectivity of the town centre and links to the proposed new railway station near Torbay Hospital. Significant investments into the marina and surrounding leisure/retail facilities are ongoing, increasing the allure to buyers from London, the West Midlands and the Bristol-Gloucester corridor.
The project sponsor team comprises a successful national property investor and entrepreneur plus an experienced local developer with over 40 years’ regional construction experience and a large network of local authority contacts.
“This is a high-end development with large unit sizes and a charming, in-demand location. Coupling this with local market data and the post-Covid shift in purchasing attitudes, I have no doubt there will be significant demand,” added Tiger Craft, Chief Investment Officer of Hilltop Credit Partners.