The UK's largest housebuilder, Wimpey, has taken on £230m in cheap, long-term loans from US banks to reduce interest payments.
The deal has enabled the company to pay off the expensive short-term loans it took out to buy Laing Homes for £297m last month.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, which advised Wimpey on the transaction, said it was the largest of its kind agreed between US financial institutions and a UK housebuilder.

A construction analyst said: "The US private placing market is the cheapest source of finance in the world. Even accounting for cover for currency risk that Wimpey will have to pay, it is still cheaper than the short-term money it had."

Wimpey finance director Andrew Carr-Locke said the deal strengthened the group's long-term debt profile and allowed Wimpey to diversify funding sources. He said the loans were oversubscribed by more than 400%.

The loan agreements range from seven to 15 years with an average of 10. The average interest rate is 6.2% and 17 institutions have agreed to give Wimpey loans.