Mike Bristow

CrowdProperty sees 'huge' lending opportunity in Northern Ireland

CrowdProperty sees a "huge" lending opportunity in Northern Ireland, according to its chief executive Mike Bristow (pictured above).

Speaking to Development Finance Today, Mike claimed that the business was originally founded because the team was immensely frustrated with the attitudes of banks towards SME property professionals.

“Now, the role of SME property professionals is more and more important to delivering housing supply because there [are] smaller and smaller chunks of land, [and] the bigger stuff is getting built out,” said Mike.

“So, actually, it’s strategically important for the nation.

“…And all our research in Northern Ireland [revealed that] the ‘pain’ is exaggerated many fold.

“People are typically operating with cash, buying cash, pulling their mates together and doing a JV deal.

“And I don't say that lightly, I think that's definitely one way of doing it.

“But there is a huge lending opportunity there, and we work hard to really understand not only the project itself and the risks associated with the project, but also the local market.

“…We do a load of resilience, downturn scenario testing on our existing book on each loan that comes in, so we've really thrown tech and data at this market hard.”

In February and March, the P2P lender had £250m worth of nationwide applications for funding directly into its website.

So far, CrowdProperty has put circa £9m–10m on the platform in Q1, and aims to provide between £50m–100m this year.

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