FAQs

General

What is first mortgage finance?

First mortgage finance is a loan secured against property, and which has priority over other liens or claims on a property.

What is second mortgage finance?

Second mortgage finance is a loan secured against equity in your home, where the money is used to fund other projects.

Does ASAP Finance offer Second Mortgages?

ASAP Finance does not offer second mortgage finance unless it is being used to support an existing first mortgage held by ASAP. However, we are extremely flexible when it comes to loan structuring.

What types of loans are available?

ASAP Finance offers a range of different loans including; investor loans, development loans, and bridging loans – so long as they are secured by property on a first mortgage basis, ASAP Finance can provide a funding solution for you.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you can borrow depends on your security, earnings, and the value of the asset. ASAP lends up to 75% of the value, depending on location and security.

ASAP Finance’s minimum loan is $300,000 and we can lend up to $50 million on a single loan.

What repayment types does ASAP Finance offer?

The repayment type of your loan will be specific to your needs. ASAP offers the below repayment types:

  • Interest only – pay only the interest on your loan, making regular payments on a monthly basis.
  • Part interest only – pay only part of the interest each month. The balance of the interest is paid at the end of the term of the loan.
  • Principal and interest – regular payments of both interest and principal on a monthly basis.
  • Capitalised interest – interest is added to the loan balance each month and all interest and principal is paid in full at the end of the loan. This is common for development loans

Under what circumstances can I get interest only finance?

ASAP Finance provides interest-only loans under almost all instances subject to the client’s ability to service the debt. However, this does not include construction and development loans where our preference is to capitalise interest – this is because it forms part of the cost-to-complete facility. There are some exceptions to this – ASAP Finance may allow part-interest payments for experienced developers who are supported by strong cashflow.

Can I repay my loan early?

Yes. You can repay your loan early – in part or in full. As long as you give us 30 days’ notice before you make a payment, you won’t need to make an early repayment fee.

What fees do I have to pay?

Although ASAP Finance charges an application fee of 2% (plus brokerage if applicable), this is usually added to the loan, so you don’t have to pay anything upfront. ASAP Finance is proud of not charging “hidden” fees such as minimum lending fees, early repayment fees and loan administration fees etc.

What are your interest rates?

ASAP Finance interest rates are sensitive to the level of risk and the term of the loan. Typically, the lowest interest rates are available for shorter terms (3-6 months). If your loan is considered higher risk, a margin may be applied to a base rate to reflect the level of risk the loan represents.

How long can I borrow for?

Loan terms range from a minimum of 3 months, to 12 months. In some instances, where a 12-month term is not sufficient to complete a project, ASAP Finance will consider extending the term of the loan to enable the project to be taken to completion.

What is a Registered Valuation? Do I require one to have finance approved?

A Registered Valuation (RV) is a detailed report done by a professional Valuer that estimates the market value for a property. For residential property, this is most commonly done by the “sales comparison approach”; under this approach one property is compared with other recently sold properties in the area with similar characteristics. Registered Valuations can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of property or project.

At ASAP Finance we generally do not require Registered Valuations. Much of the work a valuer does is completed as part of ASAP’s internal due diligence process.

Can I apply for a loan if I have a bad credit history?

Yes. At ASAP Finance we believe that everyone deserves the chance to remedy their financial situation and be given the opportunity to get back on their feet financially. While we require credit checks to be done, approval of a loan application is not just based on credit scores. Each application is assessed independently based on its own merits.

What is serviceability and does it impact my ability to get a loan?

Serviceability refers to a borrower’s ability to meet interest repayments, based upon the loan amount, the borrower’s income, expenses and other commitments. The extent to which serviceability impacts a lending decision depends on the type of loan you are seeking and the repayment type.

Interest-only loans require monthly repayments, hence a borrower’s ability to make these repayments (serviceability) forms an important part of the credit decision.

For capitalised interest loans there are no monthly repayments. Instead, all interest owed is added to the loan balance and repaid at the end of the term. In such circumstances, greater emphasis is placed on a client’s proposed ‘exit strategy’ and ability to perform (as opposed to serviceability). Almost all construction loans are structured as capitalised interest loans.

Irrespective of your situation, ASAP Finance will tailor a solution specific to your needs with interest-only, part interest-only, and capitalised interest loans available.

What is the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (CCCFA)?

The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) is legislation that regulates the consumer finance sector. The Act ensures that borrowers can make informed decisions about their finances by providing rules and regulations that lenders must abide by – including disclosure requirements.

When does CCCFA apply?

CCCFA applies to consumer lending only. Under CCCFA, a “consumer loan” is one where the consumer uses or intends to use the credit, wholly or predominantly for personal, domestic or household purposes. For real estate transactions, a second relevant test is whether or not the security is held in the name of an individual and is their primary place of residence.

A contract is not a consumer credit contract when the credit is for commercial or investment purposes, or where the secured property is owned by a company or a family trust.

How does CCCFA impact my ability to get a loan?

ASAP Finance does not accept loan applications for consumer loans. That being said, the standards and principles set out in the Act are something we take seriously. With every transaction, ASAP Finance exercises the care, diligence, and skill of a responsible lender.

Do you offer pre-approvals?

ASAP Finance does not offer pre-approvals. Development funding transactions involve significant due diligence, as such, we request that clients have a property under contract (subject to due diligence), or already own the property prior to submitting a loan application.

Does ASAP refinance existing mortgages?

Yes. ASAP can refinance everything from standard investor loans to complex development loans, even if they are mid-way through completion. ASAP Finance often refinances development loans from other companies who do not possess the necessary skills or expertise to fund the project to completion.

Does ASAP Finance belong to any industry body groups?

ASAP Finance has always developed and maintained strong relationships with various industry bodies. We are members of Financial Advice New Zealand which is the premier industry body representing the interests of financial advisors in New Zealand. ASAP Finance is also a panel lender for some of the top mortgage aggregator groups including:

  • NZFSG / Loan Market
  • Mortgage Express
  • Kepa
  • Mike Pero Mortgages
  • Mortgage Link
  • Mortgage Supply Co
  • Newpark Group

Construction Loans

Can I get a development loan from ASAP Finance?

Yes. Development finance is a core business for ASAP Finance and includes financing for land subdivisions and construction. This includes commercial, industrial and residential developments.

What is property development finance?

Property development finance is a short-term loan for residential, commercial and industrial development projects. It can involve financing the purchase of the land and progress (staged) payments for covering associated costs to complete the development.

Will ASAP Finance fund commercial developments?

Yes. In addition to residential projects such as terraced townhouses and apartment complexes, ASAP Finance actively funds a wide variety of commercial and industrial projects. This includes the financing of retail shops, offices, industrial warehouses, showrooms, live-work units and much more. ASAP has also funded a wide variety of specialised commercial assets such as vineyards, orchards, motels, hotels, medical centres and childcare centres.

What information is required to apply for a development loan?

Documents most commonly required by ASAP Finance are (i) a sale and purchase agreement and (ii) draft building plans. Often this is all we need to issue indicative terms. Other supporting information can include approved Resource and Building Consents.

Do I require documentation such as fixed price construction contracts, valuations and full financial disclosure to get development funding?

No. ASAP Finance is not a typical New Zealand development finance company that requires you to ‘tick all the boxes’. Each project is assessed on its business merits and ASAP Finance can often waive many of these conditions imposed by other lenders.

What is the role of a QS do, do I need one?

A quantity surveyor is a qualified professional responsible for estimating the cost of a construction project. They are also responsible for monitoring the ongoing progress of the project from both cost and time perspectives.

Most financial institutions require an approved quantity surveyor to carry out an initial assessment report and provide ongoing drawdown reports during the construction phase of a development. This cost of the quantity surveyor is borne by the developer.

As ASAP Finance, we can often waive the need for a QS to be appointed to a project. Our lending managers are trained to identify key risk factors that may affect a projects successful completion. We also work closely alongside our clients to ensure that a funding methodology is agreed upon before the project commences.

What is GST Facility and how does a GST Facility work?

A GST Facility is a revolving credit facility that is used to exclusive fund the GST portion of a Progress Payment.  Funds drawn down from this facility to pay GST are repaid by the IRD in the form of a GST Refund. 

Implementing a GST Facility enables a lender to fund a project on a GST exclusive basis, at the same time ensuring that all contractors are paid in full (the GST inclusive amount).   

Simply put, using a GST Facility reduces the amount you need to borrow from a lender by approximately 15%. Where reducing the amount that you need to borrow (i) assists with meeting LVR requirements,  and (ii) reduces the total interest expense for the project.

Let’s look at a quick example. Bob has a Construction Facility of $5,000,000 and a $100,000 GST Facility. The builder makes a claim of $575,000 including GST.  

  • The Lender makes the payment of $575,000 to the Borrower made up as follows: $500,000 is paid out from the Construction Facility and $75,000 is paid from the GST facility (so the GST facility falls to $15,000 being $100,000 less $75,000) 
  • The Borrower makes the payment to the Builder/Contractor of $575,000.  
  • The Borrower then claims the GST from the IRD, i.e. lodges his monthly GST return with a claim of $75,000 
  • The IRD processes the claim and pays the GST refund directly to the Lender to replenish the GST facility, i.e. $75,000 is paid directly to the Lender and the GST facility goes back to $100,000 

For a GST Facility to work effectively, you need to ensure: 

  • The borrowing entity is GST registered and your GST position is correct, i.e. you are entitled to claim GST in relation to the project. 
  • You are on a monthly GST cycle, i.e. GST returns are filed monthly. This will ensure that the GST Facility does not go into deficit.  

Do you fund small renovations?

Yes, ASAP Finance funds smaller projects including renovationsWe can assist with the initial settlement of the property (or refinance of an existing mortgage) as well as the cost of the renovation. Renovations are assessed similar to development loans and involve a review of project budgets and any relevant consents (as applicable).  

What is capitalised interest?

Capitalised interest refers to ‘capitalising’ the monthly interest expense onto the loan balance each month (instead of paying a monthly interest expense). Once the loan matures, the borrower repays both the principal and accumulated interest in full. 

How do you calculate capitalised interest?

For construction loans, interest is only charged on the outstanding balance of the loan so the interest expense will vary depending on how quickly (or slowly) funds are drawn from the construction facility. For this reason, capitalised interest is an estimate only.  

To calculate the capitalised interest provision, lenders use the ‘S Curve’; a cashflow model that forecasts monthly drawdowns and associated interest expenses. A simplified approach involves estimating the average drawn balance of the loan. This is done by applying a ‘utilisation rate’ for the construction component of the loan.    

Let’s take the following example:  

  • A developer wants to borrow $2,000,000 for 1 year  
  • $1,200,000 is advanced on settlement 
  • $800,000 is drawn down in stages for the construction 
  • The applicable interest rate is 10% per annum 

Capitalised interest would be calculated as follows: 

  •  $1,200,000 (being the initial cash advance) x 10% = $120,000 
  • $800,000 (being the construction facility) x 65% utilisation x 10% = $52,000.  

So the total capitalised interest facility would total approximately $172,000. 

What is ‘equity contribution’ in development funding?

Equity contribution is the percentage of costs that are funded by the developer as a percentage of the total project budgetThe total project budget includes the costs associated with land, professional fees, construction, council fees, finance and contingency. 

Can we get 100% funding?

No, loan facilities from ASAP Finance typically require a minimum 15%-20% equity contribution as a percentage of total development costs. However, in many cases, we have funded 100% of forward-looking costs for our client’s projects. This is where the client has already contributed equity toward the property in the form of a deposit on the purchase, relevant council consents, or value uplift in the property.  

Do you consider value uplift in a property as equity?

Yes, if you purchased the property some time ago and the value of your property has increased since you purchased it, we can consider the increased value in your property as equity.  

Let’s assume a developer purchases a property for $1,000,000 funded by a $400,000 cash deposit and the balance of $600,000 being funded with debt. In this scenario the developer’s equity is 40%, being his cash contribution toward the purchase price.  

Now assume two years pass and the value of the property increases by 40% to $1,400,000. While the developer has not contributed further cash, there is inherent value in his property. The developer’s equity is now $800,000, being the market value of the property of $1,400,000 less the existing mortgage of $600,000.  

What is the best ownership structure for my development?

When it comes to structuring property development ownership in NZ, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the ownership structure and overall goal the shareholders/owners wish to achieve, their legal and tax advisor may recommend one type of entity over another. Some of the most common development entities we have seen over the years include Limited Liability Companies, Trust and Limited Partnership. 

We do recommend that clients consult with their accountants and lawyers before deciding on the ownership structure. 

Do you provide funding for consenting (resource consent and building consent) and other soft costs?

Yes, ASAP Finance can provide funding for consenting and other soft costs. This is typically structured as a cash flow facility secured against the as-is value of the land. 

Do I have to be an experienced developer to get a loan?

We work with developers with varying skills and abilitiesFor those who are new to development, ensuring that the right project consultants are involved in the project is a must. ASAP Finance partners with all clients and will freely share the knowledge and experience gained through the billions worth of projects funded over the years.  

Do you fund build to rent?

Yes, we have funded many build-to-rent developments over the years. Build-to-rent projects involve retaining the properties on completion of a projectwith the developer holding them as a long-term investment. This is done by refinancing the development loan with a mainstream lender such as a bank. Early engagement with mainstream funders is essential to ensure a smooth transaction from a short development loan to a long-term investment loan 

Do I need presales to get development funding?

ASAP Finance can fund projects with little or no presalesBy removing initial presale hurdles, developers can move their projects forward at pace instead of waiting for presale targets to be met. Selling closer to a project’s completion also enables the developer to achieve the maximum sale price. Buyers are more motivated and confident in paying a better price for a completed property rather than buying off the plansIn a market where prices are appreciating, the developer can ride the market during the construction phase and maximise project profit. 

Investment Loans

Do you fund apartments smaller than 50sqm?

Yes, ASAP Finance will consider all funding applications. Sound business thinking and financial expertise are used to weigh up the merits of your individual funding requirements. For residential apartments, we typically look to lend around 65% LVR depending on specific property attributes.

How fast does it take to drawdown from a loan facility?

The team at ASAP Finance is made up of experienced and skilled property finance experts who can make quick decisions and turn around loan applications within 24 hours if required. Loans can be settled as soon as 48 hours after receiving an application.

Do you have a product with a term longer than 12 months for investment property?

ASAP Finance is a short-term lender with loan terms range from a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 12 months. In some instances, where a 12-month term is not sufficient, ASAP Finance can consider extending the term of the loan.

Commercial Loans

Do you offer long-term commercial loans?

ASAP Finance is a short-term lender and the maximum term we offer is 12 months. Commercial loans are provided for a fixed term and with a certain exit strategy in mind. For example, we may settle a commercial building to allow the client time to finalise financial accounts or lease out space as required to obtain main bank funding.  

Do you lend on vacant commercial properties?

Yes. As a private non-bank lender, we make our own rules. For a vacant property, we assess things like the likely market rental to determine the value of the property, making allowances for the vacant nature of the property, required time to lease up the property, and cost of rental incentives and inducements.   

Do you lend on owner-occupied commercial property?

Owneroccupied properties are treated similar to properties with arm’s length leases, provided the purchaser can demonstrate enough income to pay a market rental on the property. We may require a formal lease to be entered into between the trading company and the property company at arm’s length commercial market terms in standard ADLS, PCNZ or equivalent Deed of Lease. 

What is an ISA/IEP?

“An ISA (Initial Seismic Assessment) is carried out using the Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP). It compares the existing building’s % of structural earthquake strength relative to the New Building Standard (%NBS). The IEP was originally designed by the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE). Territorial Authorities carry out an IEP as an initial seismic assessment of a building. Its purpose is to determine if a building is potentially earthquake-prone.” (Source: Tino Seismic) 

Do you fund buildings with a low IEP rating or Earthquake Prone Buildings?

A building is earthquake-prone if it has a seismic capacity of less than 34%NBS (%New Building Standard). It implies a building will suffer a high level of damage in a moderate earthquake.  There are limited circumstances in which we fund earthquake-prone buildings – specifically if the purchaser intends to develop the property, in which case we would rely on the underlying land value (less demolition, contamination removal and land remediation cost) in determining an appropriate amount to lend.  

A similar process is applied for Earthquake Risk Buildings or buildings where the IEP rating is between 34%NBS and 66%NBS. This means damage can be major to minor, depending on how close to the 34 %NBS rating the building is. We fund these buildings albeit at a conservative level. We would also need a clear understanding of the client’s rationale in purchasing such a building and that it aligns with the short-term nature of the loans that we provide. 

Do you fund specialty commercial properties such as motels, hotels or vineyards?

Yes, over the years we have funded everything from hotels, motels, golf clubs, vineyards, orchards, forestry blocks and more. Such funding applications should include supporting financial information pertaining to trading operations. A valuation may be required for specialist assets. 

Bridging Loans

What is a bridging loan?

A bridging loan is usually short-term finance for when you have purchased a new property but are yet to sell your existing property. The bridging loan helps you close the gap until you can access the equity through sale of your existing assets.

What is the minimum term for a bridging loan?

We can tailor our bridging loan term to meet your specific needs and can offer terms from 3 months to 12 months.  We recommend a minimum term of at least 3 months even if you think you need less time, to allow for unforeseen delays in completing the settlement of the sale of your existing property. 

 

What is the difference between an open and closed bridge?

A closed bridge is when you have purchased a new property and have sold your existing property but the date of settlement of your existing property is after the date on which you need to settle the purchase of the new property, hence bridging finance is required for a known period.  An open bridge is where you have purchased a new property but have not yet sold your existing property, hence bridging finance is required for an unknown period.  ASAP Finance offers both closed Bridging Loans and open Bridging Loans. 

Are bridging loans interest-only loans or capitalised interest loans?

ASAP Finance offers both interest-only and capitalised-interest loans for bridging scenarios. The repayment type will ultimately depend on your cashflow requirements and ability to service interest repayments. 

Landbank Loans

Do you lend on future urban/unzoned land?

Yes, ASAP Finance lends on future urban and unzoned land. 

How do you value the land for landbank loans?

The methodology used to derive the value of a property dependon the specific attributes of the property. For future urban land that is yet to be zoned the development potential is often unknown – in such circumstances the simplest method is to often use a comparable sales method, which considers the prices of other similar properties in the same locationthat have recently soldFor zoned land, development outcomes are more certain, in which case a residual valuation method may be used. The residual method is based on the concept that the value of a property with development potential is derived from the value of the property after development, minus the cost of undertaking that development including a profit for the developer. At ASAP Finance, we use our expertise and business acumen to assess the potential in an undeveloped piece of land. 

Do you lend on land bank assets without any holding income?

Yes. In such instances, the focus is placed on the client’s ability to generate cashflow from wider group activities or alternatively, ASAP can provide a capitalised interest facility within the loan facility.

What happens if you are not able to exit a land bank loan within the term of the loan?

We work with clients to understand proposed exit strategies and likely timeframes for delivery before the commencement of the loan. We then structure the loan facilities with this exit strategy in mind, building in realistic timeframes to achieve key milestones including appropriate contingencies. Should a loan extension be required at the end of the term of the loanwe are happy to explore this with you. 

Can you capitalise interest for a land bank loan?

Yes, both interestonly and capitalised interest loan repayment types are available for land bank loans.  

Joint Ventures

Are you open to joint ventures?

Yes, ASAP Finance will consider joint ventures. In addition to assessing the viability of a project, ASAP Finance will enter joint ventures where there is a track record of being able to see a project through to completion. Preference is given to residential and commercial property projects.

What is your criteria for considering joint venture opportunities?

ASAP Finance will consider joint venture arrangements for a variety of scenarios including investment property, landbanks, subdivisions, and residential, commercial and industrial developments. Joint Venture partners must have a healthy track record, strong business ethics and the skill and capability required to deliver a project from inception to completion. Typically, the project will be located in one of the major cities in NZ and not be of a specialised nature.

How are joint ventures structured?

The most common joint venture structure is to create a Limited Liability Company for the sole purpose of completing the development (also known as a Special Purpose Vehicle or “SPV”). The joint venture company owns the assets of the venture, enters into contracts, incurs obligations and liabilities, and makes a profit that is then distributed to shareholders as a dividend on completion of the project. 

What is the equity share arrangement for a joint venture company?

The shareholding of the joint venture company reflects the equity share arrangement that is agreed between parties prior to the start of the project. The shareholding for the joint venture company is agreed on a case-by-case basis depending on the underlying risk of the project, assigned responsibilities of stakeholders, the duration and size of the project, and the amount of equity required.   

How are joint venture projects funded?

Joint Ventures are funded by way of a first and second mortgageThe first mortgage is typically procured from a mainstream bank for up to 80% of the total project cost at a competitive rate. The balance of funds required to complete the project is provided by a related party entity (owned by ASAP Finance) by way of a discounted second mortgage. This can effectively result in a project being 100% financed. ASAP’s robust balance sheet and strong banking relationships play an integral role in securing the bank approval for the first mortgage  

When is the best time to approach you for JV?

Positive development outcomes are derived from careful planning. Engaging with ASAP Finance at the beginning of a potential project enable us to assist with the preparation of feasibilities, engagement of contractors, securing funding and more. ASAP Finance has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be harnessed to take your project to the next level.  

Presale Underwrites

What is a Presale Underwrite?

To obtain bank funding, developers are typically required to obtain ‘qualifying pre-sales’. Where the value of such presales is required to be at least 100% of the amount of lending being sought.  

Sometimes it is difficult for developers to achieve 100% presale cover, whether due to a slow market or simply buyer reluctance to purchase off-plan. Other times, developers specifically choose not to presell properties as they expect to achieve a higher price by selling closer to the completion of the project than by selling off-plan.  

In such circumstances, they may seek a ‘Pre-sale underwrite’ from ASAP Finance to still qualify for bank funding. A presale underwrite is an agreement whereby ASAP, as the underwriter, agrees to purchase a specified number of properties on completion of the development in lieu of an arm’s length purchaser in the event the property remains unsold on completion. This allows the bank to be repaid in full even if the property has not been sold. Underwrites are all about providing the bank with certainty that they will be repaid upon completion of the project. 

How does a presale underwrite work?

As your underwriter, ASAP Finance will agree to purchase the agreed number of properties from you (the developer) at a mutually agreed price for an underwrite fee. If those properties are not sold by the specified date, ASAP Finance will settle the underwritten properties at the price agreed. 

Will my bank accept your presale underwrite?

We have strong working relationship with most of the trading banks in New Zealand. Our strong balance sheet and reputation make us a trusted underwriter among banks.  

Compliance

What is AML/CFT?

The Anti Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act came into effect from 1 July 2013. This Act places an obligation on all New Zealand banks and financial institutions to detect and deter money laundering and terrorism financing. The goal is to help protect New Zealand from financial crime and improve our international reputation as a safe place for doing business.

How will the AML/CFT affect you?

Under the AML/CFT, all banks and financial institutions will need to collect more information to verify a customer’s identity and source of funds. Before ASAP Finance can give you a loan, we will need to ask you for these details. That means, even if you have borrowed from us before, we may need to ask you for extra identity documents and information.

Businesses, trusts, and other organisations will need to provide information on the organisation and anyone who acts on its behalf. The Act affects all banks and financial institutions in New Zealand, so we are required to abide by it. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email or phone +64 9 520 3660.

Does ASAP Finance provide dispute resolution services?

ASAP Finance is a member of the New Zealand Financial Services Complaints (FSCL) which provides an independent and impartial dispute resolution service. FSCL are an independent, not-for-profit, external dispute resolution scheme approved by the Minister of Consumer Affairs.

If something has gone wrong, we want to know.

Please send an email to info@asapfinance.co.nz and tell us what has happened and how we can resolve matters. If you have any documents or correspondence that will help us understand your complaint, please attach them to the email.

When we receive your complaint, we will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within 1-2 working days
  • gather and evaluate information about your complaint
  • respond to you within 20 working days.

If we cannot agree on how to resolve the complaint, you can contact Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL). FSCL’s service does not cost you anything and they will help resolve the complaint.