Mezzanine Finance and Preferred Equity
For Property Developers

Mezzanine Finance and Preferred Equity is a way to increase the property developers borrowing potential beyond the limitations of traditional construction finance facilities.

Mezzanine finance is a form of subordinated debt behind senior debt in terms of ranking on any claim on property assets; and ahead of equity, generally secured by a second mortgage.

In summary, mezzanine debt fills the funding gap between the property developer’s equity and the amount of the senior facility available.

Preferred Equity works in a similar way to mezzanine finance, but no second mortgage is placed on the property to be developed.

Diagrammatically, development project risk can be illustrated as follows:

Mezzanine Finance


General Project Time Line:

1.  Land is identified
2.  Development Plan and Marketing Plan are conceptualised
3.  Land is secured (either purchased or optioned)
4.  Development proposal is prepared (architectural plans etc)
5.  Proposal is submitted to relevant authority for approval
6.  Marketing Plan is initiated (i.e. presales begin)
7.  Development is approved
8.  The Construction Facility is put in place
9.  Construction commences
10. Construction completed
11. Project is sold

    Experienced and financially savvy developers are interested in mezzanine finance / preferred equity as it provides the following benefits:

    • It gives the developer the power to determine the level of equity (if any) they wish to contribute to a project
    • It is generally cheaper than equity; and provides a higher rate of return on equity
    • The borrower can use their equity elsewhere, effectively diversifying risk
    • The property developer can continue with the project on a ‘stand alone’ basis
    • Control is retained by the developer, not Joint Venture partners
    • Mezzanine finance is passive provided the project is performing to expectations
    • It can be raised relatively quickly as opposed to equity

    Lets have a look at an example and the potential benefits.

    End Value (GRV):
    Land Value:
    Construction Costs:
    Total Costs (excl interest):
    Development Period:
    Senior Facility Interest Rate:
    Mezzanine Debt Facility Interest Rate:
    8% pa
    20% pa


    Note: that rates and figures are for illustrative purposes only.

    Project Structure Comparison

     Traditional Senior Debt
     Senior and Mezzanine
    Debt Facility
     Sales $13,000,000 $13,000,000
     Construction Costs $10,000,000$10,000,000
     Senior Facility $8,000,000 $8,000,000
     Mezzanine Debt Facility$0$1,000,000
     Equity Contribution $2,000,000 $1,000,000
     Interest Expense – Senior $500,000 $500,000
     Interest Expense – Mez $0 $200,000
     Total Interest Expense $500,000 $700,000
     Total Costs $10,500,000 $10,700,000
     Profit $2,500,000 $2,300,000
     Profit % of Costs 24%22%
     Profit % of Equity 125%230%


    As illustrated above, by using mezzanine loans the developer’s profit reduces by $200,000 in this example, from 24% to 22%.

    However the property developer’s development profit as a percentage of equity almost doubles, from 125% to 230%. Based on the above if a property developer had $2,000,000 equity, they could opt for either:

    • A traditional structure, and make $2,500,000 profit, as that is all the equity available
    • Undertake two projects as above and contribute $1M each and achieve $4.7M profit

    Clearly there are benefits to the developer of freeing up equity

    Mezzanine finance lenders (investors) also gain considerable benefits from this type of investment:

    • Fixed term investment
    • Investment is secured by property
    • Only projects which are ready to begin immediate construction are eligible
    • Projects must have pre-sales or pre-leases in place, which are fully verified by GCC
    • Property developers capacity, capability and track record are fully scrutinised by GCC

    Are you looking at buying a property or refinance an existing loan? Do you need construction finance for a property development? For a confidential chat call:

    1300 011 211

    Request a call back

    Our latest News

    February 26, 2018

    Commercial Property Values for 2018

    2017 proved to be a steady year for commercial property values, with firm yields and prices high. Bu

    Read more

    July 1, 2017

    Why should you consider investing in Commercial Property?

    There are many reasons why an investment in commercial property could prove to be a wise decision. C

    Read more

    June 22, 2017

    A Guide to Getting Finance For Property Development

    And banks and other lenders are only too happy to reject applications for finance that don’t meet

    Read more

    June 11, 2017

    8 Reasons to Consider Commercial Property Over a Residential

    Well, as it turns out, investing in commercial properties brings with it a host of benefits as well.

    Read more

    June 12, 2016

    Tips for Choosing the Right Property Manager

    More than 54% of rental properties in Australia currently benefit from the expertise of a property m

    Read more

    May 26, 2016

    12 Ways To Add Value To Your Investment Property

    Determine who your target market is before you start renovations. You need to ensure your property w

    Read more

    May 26, 2016

    Bridging Loans: How To Make Them Work For You

    In a perfect world, selling your property and purchasing a new one happens at the same time. But unf

    Read more

    May 12, 2016

    How To Invest In Rural Properties

    Rural properties throughout Australia offer unique investment opportunities that can be incredibly r

    Read more

    April 14, 2016

    30 Property Investment Blogs Worth a Read

    Investing in property can help you build long-term wealth, but before you begin it’s important to

    Read more

    April 12, 2016

    What to Look For When Inspecting a Commercial Space

    While inspecting a residential property is generally based on emotions and the ability to picture a

    Read more

    What our clients say