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Ask the experts: Are more investors looking at the benefits of mixed-use property?

Enquiries about split-use properties for residential, commercial and semi-commercial use have seen a rise recently, and we are now dealing with these cases more and more frequently.

Investors are looking for information about lending for properties such as a pub with living space above, office blocks which could be redeveloped into flats, homes including parcels of land for a new build property, or space for commercial premises.

However, access to funding for these types of businesses can be difficult, because mainstream lenders often see them as too complex; for example, some won’t provide finance for a residential flat that is above a restaurant or takeaway.

Specialist lenders like us are witnessing a growing demand from property professionals to finance these kinds of mixed-use premises. Some investors and SMEs are attracted by semi-commercial property, as it doesn’t incur the three per cent stamp duty surcharge on additional properties and is not affected by the tax relief changes on residential buy-to-let.

Other savvy investors are seeing the benefit of split-use residential property, such as developing a corner plot of land or turning the garage of a family home into an office or workspace.

It is important to take legal and financial advice before embarking on these kinds of projects but, with the right support and specialist funding, there are opportunities for investors looking at split-use properties, and it seems likely this demand will continue to increase in the future.