Assetz Capital has reported that July was the peer-to-peer lending platform’s strongest lending month of the calendar year to date.
Chief executive Stuart Law told Peer2Peer Finance News that the peer-to-peer lending platform facilitated £25m-worth of loans in July, which he expects the business to exceed in future months as the firm returns to the levels it had started to see during the pandemic.
“In the pandemic, we had a big burst of activity with the government lending, and we were as high as £50m or £60m a month, so we’re heading back up again,” Law said. He said the firm is targeting lending of £80m per month, or £1bn per year.
Managing director Andrew Charnley announced the peak in 2022 lending in a LinkedIn update this week. “It’s been another busy and productive month here Assetz Capital. Lots of great initiatives in flight to help our valued customers, brokers and partners,” he said. “Even better, we have already had our strongest lending month year-to-date, so plenty to be confident about looking ahead.”
Charnley joined Assetz Capital from specialist lender Together in June, to take charge of the lending side of the business.
Law said the firm has a pipeline of around £200m of lending at any given time. “We drew down our biggest numbers this year, and we’ve got objectives to get to £80m a month of drawn loans over the next year, which is a billion a year of lending,” he said.
“Obviously, current economic conditions might slow that down a bit. Which is because we might want to slow down a bit. But the main point is we’re heading toward £80m a month. We’ve got £200m already in the pipe, we expect that to grow so we’ve got a balanced pipeline of lending of several £100m at any given time.”
Assetz Capital provides a broad portfolio of property funding from housing to commercial mortgages for trading businesses and care homes, which Law hopes will shield the business from shocks in localised areas of the property market in future.
However, at the moment property is resilient despite widespread economic uncertainty and the significant rise in the cost of living.
Law said he stands by the two-year prediction he issued 18 months ago for 2021/22, which was that there would be around eight to 10 per cent house price growth across the two-year period.
“I know that some indications say we’re currently exceeding that. But we’re not at the end of the year yet. And I do expect the market growth to slow down,” he said.
“The reasons for it, I stated a year and a half ago, were just blindingly obvious. There is minimal housing supply. The type of housing people want has shifted much more towards housing, not apartments, and new builds for energy efficiency, not old. And the list goes on. There’s quite a number of factors. So, we are watching the housing market super closely. And for certain, first-time buyers and the less well-off will be most affected by the current economic changes.”
As a result, he said Assetz is currently cautious about first time buyer property, although he added, “we’re not blocking it, we’re just more cautious. Particularly when we don’t know where interest rates are going to finally stop.”