£30m fund to support Northern Ireland's housing developers
A new £30m property fund has been launched with the aim of helping liquidity in Northern Ireland's residential and development market.
The Omega Capital Fund has appointed estate agents CPS Property as consultants to help assess proposals in light of the condition of the housing market.
CPS has branches in Belfast, Armagh, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Omagh and Monaghan.
The firm operates in rentals, residential and commercial sales, new developments, site and land sales, and also sells properties in Dubai, Cape Verde and Spain.
The fund will offer secured loans from £50,000 up to £2.5m and is backed by institutional and Northern Ireland-based private investors.
CPS's appointment to run the fund was announced at a breakfast celebrating its third decade in business.
Art O'Hagan, managing director of the estate agency, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed as the delivery consultants for this new property fund. It's an exciting new venture for CPS. We'll be client-facing and will assess whether applicants are the right fit for funding. If CPS think they are suitable for investment, then we'll guide them towards funding options and make a decision within 10 working days.
"Lending in the residential mortgage market reached £2.5bn last year, with remortgaging and first-time buyers making up 60%.
"But the shortage of affordable housing is well documented in Northern Ireland and developers still struggle to access working capital. The Omega Capital Fund will help support these housing developers."
Mr O'Hagan added that while market demand had grown, demand was outstripping supply.
"Over the next three to four years we anticipate the market will stabilise with the gap between supply and demand shrinking," he added.
CPS Property won the Residential Estate Agency of the Year Multi Branch Award at the Belfast Telegraph Property Awards.
According to a survey by Nationwide Building Society, average property prices in Northern Ireland were up 3.8% in the three months to March to £127,921, compared to the same period last year.