LendInvest eyes buy-to-let market

LendInvest founder and partner Christian Faes said the firm is committed to growing and plans to double its £290m lending book providing bridging loans by the end of the year.

Thereafter Faes said the lender’s appetite to continue to grow its share of the short-term market would “cap out”, prompting Faes to admit that expanding into buy-to-let is the most sensible way to continue his firm’s growth.

He said: “We want to become a buy-to-let lender sometime next year. We want to stick to property lending. It’s what we know best and there is huge demand for it – it’s the consistent thread through what we do.”

Faes said he was committed to continuing to offer bridging loans but felt that there was a limit to how large a share of the short-term market he was comfortable taking before compromising the risk profile of deals offered through the LendInvest platform.

But he added the team’s experience in the bridging market was likely to give LendInvest an edge in the buy-to-let market.

He said: “We’ve always seen bridging as the pointier end of the lending market where borrowers are most likely to try to rip you off. It’s where developing systems to guard against fraud are likely to be of most use.

“We can translate that process and technology into the buy-to-let market which will place us well with a competitive edge. We are expecting to launch our first products sometime next year and we’re already fully set-up for that from a regulatory point of view.”

He confirmed the lender is already on the lookout for a buy-to-let specialist to join its ranks and help develop a competitive product offering.

Faes admitted earlier this year that he hoped to launch an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange at some point in the near future.

In 2013 it lent around £75m out on short-term loans mainly to residential property developers buying sub-standard or auction property; the following year it doubled its business, sending roughly £150m through its doors.

This year the lender expects to fund £300m of loans, potentially more.

Read this month’s Bridging Introducer for the full story.

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