As with all business sectors, the Global Coronavirus Pandemic has had an impact on the property market. The most notable effect has been the increase in the number of delays caused by lockdown and further exasperated due to the sudden rush of activity caused by the stamp duty incentive. However, these have all worked in our favour and Astute’s business has remained resilient.
The delays and impact of Covid-19 due to banks, surveyors and solicitors working less efficiently, has resulted in increasing the average time taken for a sale of a property from 3 to 5 months.
We have been watching the overall property market very closely and have seen some sectors faring better than others, with retail and office space being hardest hit. However, the residential market has seen increased growth. This has mainly been driven by a significant shortage of UK housing. This in turn, has led to Astute continuing to focus on meeting demand for funding assets that fit within the social housing and help to buy sector. As a result, during the last quarter of 2020 we successfully exited a 5-house development on the Kent coastline redeeming its £527k facility and a 14-apartment development in Leeds redeeming its £2.15m facility.
We continue to see a good level of loan enquiries, but we continue to ensure that our due diligence is robust and that all loans in our portfolio are managed diligently.
Subject to the unforeseen, 2021 looks set to be another strong year for the business and we are quietly optimistic that the property market will return to its pre 2020 state.
For more key statistics on Astute Capitals loan book download our Brochure here.