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The strategic benefits of using mortgages for property development

With the number of new homes being built at its lowest since 2012, understanding how to manage the finances of development projects can help property developers increase their margins and remain profitable. Property developers can use their own funds or borrow the required capital when financing projects, with mortgages being a popular option when borrowing. This article explores the strategic benefits when opting for a mortgage when developing property.


One of the most significant advantages of using a mortgage for property development is leverage. Leverage occurs when a small amount of capital (the down payment) is used to control a much larger asset (the property). This allows developers to undertake larger projects compared to what they could otherwise if they were limited to only using their own capital. A mortgage amplifies a developer’s purchasing power, enabling the acquisition and development of more valuable or larger properties that can generate greater returns.

Cash Flow Management

Developing property is capital intensive, and maintaining liquidity is critical for developers. Mortgages help manage cash flow by spreading the cost of a property over many years. Instead of tying up vast amounts of capital on one project, developers can retain more of their funds to use for additional projects. This flexibility can be crucial in unexpected situations where additional funding is required to address construction delays or cost overruns, especially in the current market where costs of building materials have been rising.

Tax Advantages

For many developers, the interest paid on a mortgage can be tax-deductible as a business expense. This deduction can significantly lower the net cost of borrowing. Essentially, the tax benefits can make the cost of a mortgage much less burdensome, which can improve the overall profitability of the development project. Structuring finances to maximise tax efficiencies is a common strategy in real estate development.

Risk Mitigation

Using a mortgage to finance a property development project also spreads the financial risk. Instead of investing a large sum of capital, a developer commits only a fraction of the project's total cost upfront. This can be particularly advantageous in volatile markets where property values can fluctuate. By not overextending financially on a single project, developers can safeguard their business against downturns in the real estate market.

Access to Better Opportunities

Property developers can encounter opportunities that require quick decisions and fast financing. Mortgages can be secured relatively quickly, which allows for developers to capitalise on land or property opportunities when they arise. Moreover, the ability to offer a quick settlement can often result in better purchase terms.

Building Credit and Relationships

Regularly obtaining and successfully repaying mortgages can help property developers build a solid credit history, which can be beneficial for future financial endeavours. Working with financial institutions on mortgages can help forge long-term relationships with lenders, potentially leading to better terms and easier access to funds for future projects.

Additional Lender Oversight

Having a mortgage on a property not only frees up capital for property developers but also ensures that the development project is on the right track. Whenever lenders provide funding for construction, they have a duty to protect their investors who have provided funds to complete the development. They need to ensure that the development meets the project milestones as planned.

As such, quantity surveyors, valuers and other consultants are often hired or contracted to monitor the progress of the development. In some exceptional circumstances, lenders may even step in to rectify the development program to ensure that the project is completed on time and as planned.


For property developers, obtaining a mortgage can be a strategic tool that can enhance the scope and success of their projects. By leveraging a mortgage, managing cash flow effectively, utilising tax benefits, mitigating risks, seizing opportunities and building valuable financial relationships, mortgages can substantially contribute to the successful development of real estate. In a competitive market, understanding and utilising the benefits of mortgages can make a significant difference in the scale and profitability of development projects.

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PropetySensor Financial Services
PropetySensor Financial Services