Altura partners with Thistle to cater for Chinese property investors

Ryan Bembridge

February 5, 2019

Mortgage broker Altura Mortgage Finance has partnered with specialist packager Thistle Finance to service Chinese investors looking to buy UK property.

Chinese investors are typically interested in property in London, Manchester and Liverpool, while many appear to favour new builds.

Thistle was launched in 2017 by director Mark Dyason, while Altura was formed at the start of 2019.

Rob Gill, managing director of Altura Mortgage Finance, said: “I have put together a partnership with him [Dyason] to service Chinese investors based in China buying in the UK.

“Chinese investors buy new builds, and they like Liverpool and Manchester because they are good value.

“And actually they know them; they’ve heard of them. Manchester has two very good football teams and music in the 90s, while Liverpool has The Beatles.”

Central London is also becoming attractive to those overseas, Gill added. Owing to price falls and the devaluation of the pound after the Brexit vote in 2016, some properties in Central London work out 40% cheaper for overseas investors compared to 2014.

The only question is whether the value of the pound will fall further or strengthen, depending on what happens with the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Gill and Dyason are working with an introducer in Shanghai who has around 200 clients who want to complete on new build property this year. Thistle has a panel of lenders that includes banks in China, Hampshire Trust Bank and Gatehouse Bank who can deal with these investors.

Dyason said that, while Thistle has been dealing with these types of clients for some time, he hopes this is the start of a successful partnership.

He said: “Chinese investors are keen to invest in the UK in the private rental sector and we are able to supply them with mortgages to make the purchases.

“This is a relatively new venture. I’m hoping that the volume proves to be sufficient so there is value in him [Rob Gill] continuing to use us.”

Gill was a founder of London broker Coreco from March 2009 before leaving in April 2018. He then started working in foreign exchange for Mercury FX, where he was in contact with Dyason.

He then left to set up Altura Mortgage Finance at the start of this year, catering for both international and UK-based clients.

Thistle focuses on bridging finance, commercial mortgages, development finance, second charge loans, complex residential and buy-to-let mortgages and equity funding and joint ventures.

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