How does FutureBricks intend to build a loan book of £100m over the next two-and-a-half years?
By funding as many SME housing projects of different sizes and locations all across the UK. We have successfully funded seven projects totalling £1m in just a few months. We fund different types of projects from site acquisition to development and bridging loans. We also get involved with housebuilders from as early as site identification and helping them with costing. We have a diverse portfolio and appetite to fund small to larger projects.
What do you think the future holds for P2P lending?
The future of P2P is more growth. Banks are failing to do what they’re supposed to, so the next step will be for P2P lending to become more popular as more and more people begin to recognise it as an alternative finance method from the developer’s side as well as individual lenders lending to these asset-backed projects. More access to finance is being made available to SME housebuilders via P2P lending, meaning we are much closer to solving our housing crisis.
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How can the quality of funding options for UK SME housebuilders be improved?
Healthy competition is a good start. More players who embrace alternative finance would mean that SME housebuilders would have more options to choose from, driving more competition and catalysing more quality funding options. The borrower would then also be able to customise their funding based on the type of lending that is available, from exit finance to bridging loans and site acquisition.
How did you get into the industry?
I was working for a small housebuilder based in London Bridge in 2013. My job was to look for sites and appraise them. We would find a number of good quality sites, but the developer was unable to get financing from banks at the time. I spotted a gap there and that’s when I decided to set up FutureBricks.
In late 2016, I decided to solve both problems: if small- and medium-sized housebuilders could get access to finance and if people like you and me could invest in these fully vetted, secure projects from as little as £500, then it’s a win-win solution from both sides.
If you didn’t work in finance, what would you be doing?
I would be working in proptech, merging my interest in property with tech. My father is a first-generation entrepreneur, so I’ve been brought up listening to stories about property. The tech side comes from an inherent passion for innovation.