Peer-to-peer property lending platforms have welcomed the news that major housebuilders are starting to reopen their construction sites.
Persimmon and Vistry both started a phased reopening of their sites on 27 April, Taylor Wimpey will start working on sites again from 4 May, while Redrow plans to reopen a number of sites the following week.
The housebuilders had carried out an orderly shutdown of their projects after the lockdown came into force.
“I think it’s great and really positive that the sites are opening up again, because if these homes are not brought to market that’s going to cause further challenges down the road,” said Atuksha Poonwassie, co-founder and managing director of property-backed crowdfunding platform Simple Crowdfunding.
“I think this presents a large opportunity for property P2P platforms.
“With it being unknown whether the finance will come through traditional sources, if anyone is going to struggle it’s going to be medium-sized developers so P2P financing is a really good alternative for this market.
“This just creates a bigger opportunity from our viewpoint.”
Similarly, Mike Bristow, co-founder and chief executive of CrowdProperty, was pleased to see more housebuilders reopening their sites.
“It’s great the bigger companies have now set out site operating procedures which enable them to continue housebuilding, but many small sites have been operating successfully throughout,” he said.
“Smaller sites have less complicated site operating procedures to define.
“The crucial thing is that building and construction and the overall economic ecosystem that goes from supply chain, services, labour and material and to actually putting much needed housing into the market is really economically important to this country.”
Yann Murciano, chief executive of Blend Network, underlined the importance of housebuilders getting back to work as nationwide housebuilding targets have continuously not been met.
He cited the latest Knight Frank report which showed that because of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown there will be a 35 per cent fall in the number of homes built this year to 104,000.
“We will need to see how fast the economy recovers once the lockdown is lifted,” Murciano said.