Ask the P2P Borrower: Mr McCann
In this new series of interview posts, we get to know the lenders and borrowers in the peer to peer lending market. We’ll be sharing their experiences and insights over the coming months. Thanks to all contributors.
Albert McCann is a 47-year-old Bangor-based property developer. He has professional experience in property development for 10 years.
We chatted to Mr McCann about his experiences as a peer to peer borrower, his views on the UK property market and much more in this in-depth interview.
Blend Network: How long have you been a property developer?
Albert McCann: I have been a property developer for about 10 years.
Blend Network: What area in the UK do you develop?
Albert McCann: Northern Irish Peninsula, particularly around Bangor.
Blend Network: What is the average value of the properties that you develop?
Albert McCann: Mostly affordable housing around £100k per unit.
Blend Network: What is the main challenge that property developers like yourself face in today’s market?
Albert McCann: Funding is a huge challenge for us and has been so for the past decade because the mainstream banks stopped lending after the crash.
Blend Network: What has been your experience trying to get funding from traditional lenders?
Albert McCann: We have been turned down by banks who would only look at deals worth at least a couple of million pounds. We have gone through many box-ticking exercises only to be told that we did not meet such or such lending criteria. To be honest, approaching traditional lenders to get funding isn’t a pleasant journey if you are, like we are, a small property developer looking to build £100k houses.
Blend Network: How did you first come across peer to peer as a funding option for your projects?
Albert McCann: I was actually referred to Blend Network through the Bank Referral Scheme.
Blend Network: What has been your experience trying to get funding from P2P lenders?
Albert McCann: My experience has been great overall. I was able to obtain funding in a timely manner and was able to get on with building the houses without having to spend ages chasing the banks and go through countless box-ticking exercises.
Blend Network: What do you think are the benefits of using P2P as a funding option as opposed to using traditional lenders?
Albert McCann: It’s definitely a lot easier and less time-consuming, which is a great benefit for small property developers like us who need to get the job done.
Blend Network: Who do you think P2P borrowing appeals to most?
Albert McCann: SME housebuilders with a turnover less than a couple of million pounds.
Blend Network: What do you think of your local property market?
Albert McCann: We are seeing a lot of off-plan sells and definitely feels like a market with supply shortage.
Blend Network: What advice would you give to other property developers like yourself?
Albert McCann: Do your homework!
*Capital at Risk
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