Peer to peer bridging lender LendInvest has unveiled plans to enter the buy to let sector in the next year.
Founder and partner of LendInvest Christian Faes revealed that the firm is looking to double its £290 million lending book that provides bridging loans by the end of 2015.
He said he was aware that the ambition to continually grow the share of the short-term markets would eventually “cap out” and that buy to let could be the most sensible way of continuing growth.
“We want to become a buy to let lender sometime next year,” he said. “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 that while he is committed to offering bridging loans, he suggested there was a limit to the proportion of the short-term market that he felt comfortable taking.
He added that going beyond that limit could “compromise the risk profile of deals offered through the LendInvest platform”.
Faes did however say that LendInvest’s experience of the bridging market would put them at an advantage when the move into the buy to let market comes to fruition.
“We can translate that process and technology into the buy to let market which will place us well with a competitive edge,” he explained.
The founder also revealed that their first buy to let product launch is expected in 2016 and that everything is “fully set-up” from a regulatory standpoint.
LendInvest is actively looking for a specialist to help develop a range of competitive products while Faes said the lender could also launch as an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange in the near future.
Around £75 million was lent in the form of short-term loans by LendInvest in 2013, with residential property developers buying auction property and sub-standard.
It doubled its lending to £150 million in 2014 and expects to fund a minimum of £300 million worth of loans this year.