Assetz Capital Says they’re Providing Funding to Northern Ireland Market, where Mainstream Lenders are Not Meeting Requirements

Morgan McCandless, Relationship Director at Assetz Capital, a marketplace lending platform originating secured loans, reveals that he re-joined Assetz in June of this year, having previously worked on the Northern Ireland portfolio as a consultant, before the COVID outbreak.

As a Relationship Director covering Northern Ireland, he was mainly responsible for representing the Assetz Capital brand, “managing the current loan book whilst identifying opportunities to continue to grow the client base of high-quality SME borrowers.”

Morgan recently shared that for as long as he can recall, he’s had an interest in the property sector, “having gone straight from university into property banking.”

One global financial crash later, during which he worked borrower-side for 8 years, he then reverted to what he enjoys most, which is “helping to provide funding for property investment and development projects for experienced clients.”

He also noted that he enjoys spending time on site with the borrower and “contributing in some way to deliver a tangible product, something meaningful.”

He also mentioned that he’s been involved in funding development initiatives for a number of years across NI, and will “often pass schemes long-completed, now mature and occupied – which is quite gratifying.”

He further noted that he focuses on “admin management (with massive support from a very efficient Relationship Support Team), client / agent meetings and site visits throughout NI.” He added that it’s “essential to be visible and accessible, and to be on the road so to keep in touch with the market; most clients also love the opportunity to get their funder on site to show off their work.”

He continued:

“The impact of the pandemic on all sectors cannot be understated and coupled with Brexit, it clearly had the potential to be instantly detrimental to the NI property market in particular. However, in hindsight the advent of CBILS was absolutely necessary to absorb the shock of the pandemic and has been the overriding theme over the past 12 months.”

Morgan also mentioned that it seems to have been “a welcome initiative that instilled confidence when it was needed most.” It offered an opportunity for borrowers to continue “to function, while also introducing some much-needed support to the local economy – whether that be through Contractors, Agents, Solicitors and QS’s, who were also indirect beneficiaries.”

He also shared that clients “just want to get back to business as usual and leave the pandemic behind.”

He confirmed that Assetz are now accredited under the Recovery Loan Scheme and are “again assisting borrowers in the NI market by stepping up to provide much needed funding in a market where mainstream lenders are not fulfilling their traditional function.”

He also noted that CBILS was “welcome and necessary – albeit it was before my time started with Assetz – so I missed all the fun.” He pointed out that the bounce back in the NI market has been impressive and “contrary to what might be expected, the residential market has been reinvigorated to some extent by the government’s supporting initiatives.”

He also shared that it is “encouraging to see the apparent level demand for family homes at realistic and sustainable prices across most of NI – presumably driven to some extent by those intending to work more from home and so able live in a more rural setting, with more space, a better work/life balance and where value for money can be hard to ignore.”

Morgan added that Assetz is a fairly small, close-knit team “making a big impact.”

Morgan further revealed:

“I have a few deals at various stages; the acquisition of a hotel site with planning for 200 rooms in what is an extremely prime and historic location; a multi-phase residential development project that would deliver over 200 homes; and a mixed-use commercial investment anchored by a UK National, located within one of NI’s premium retail parks.”

He added:

“Although these are advancing, they may never get to drawdown stage, which is just the reality of lending. However, every one of them is an opportunity for us to put our best foot forward and reflects Assetz’ restored appetite to consider larger property transactions, in strong locations for quality promoters.”

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